HUNGARIAN Railways announced plans in March to invest around HF65bn in upgrading and network development this year, with a similar amount to be spent in 2000. Around three-quarters of this will come from international agencies such as the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, the European Investment Bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and the EU Phare programme.

HF22·5bn, will go on the cross-border link to Slovenia (RG 4.99 p190), and another tranche will fund part of the rolling 10-year electrification programme totalling HF60bn. This is due to see 256 route-km wired by Siemens and Cogeco by the end of 2000.

Some EBRD funding has been allocated for improvements to suburban passenger services, including the refurbishment of 200 coaches in the first half of this year. A DM60m credit from KfW will fund the purchase of 50 new diesel railcars. On the freight scene, MAV is investing in new and improved terminals at Budapest and Zahony on the Ukraine border, together with modernisation of the information and data networks.