Budapest, Hungary – The much-anticipated “Visegrad high speed train” connecting the cities of Budapest and Warsaw is slowly inching closer to reality, although construction might only start in ten years.
Confirmed by the government of Visegrad Group countries three years ago, the Budapest-Warsaw high speed railway plans to connect the Hungarian and Polish capitals in less than five hours (compared to more than ten hours today) with trains traveling at a speed of up to 320 km/h and stopping through the cities of Gyor, Bratislava, Brno, Ostrava and Katowice.
Once the route becomes reality, passengers will be able to go from Budapest to Vienna and Bratislava in less than two hours, and to Prague in three hours and a half. A dream come true for lovers of Central Europe.
Earlier this week, Hungarian authorities in charge of the project released a short animated film on how the project could look like once construction begins… in 2030.
In 2018, Transport Ministers of the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) agreed to launch talks on the establishment of a high-speed train route in Central Europe connecting the cities of Budapest and Warsaw.
“This will be a typical Visegrad project, with all the four countries involved in talks on funding,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at the time.
The declared goal was to offer a cleaner alternative to flying or driving to at least 500,000 passengers and further connect Central European capitals to Western networks, including in Germany, Italy or Austria.
The Hungarian Urban and Suburban Transit Association (VEKE) nevertheless warned that the project would come too late to help Hungary – and other countries – meet the EU’s emissions reduction goal.
The Hungarian government is also currently involved in discussion surrounding a controversial high-speed train between Budapest and Belgrade, funded by China as part of Beijing’s mega-infrastructure “new silk roads” projects.