SERBIA: A memorandum of understanding for the future procurement of 200 km/h electric trains for the upgraded Beograd – Novi Sad – Subotica – Budapest corridor was signed by Minister of Construction, Transport & Infrastructure Tomislav Momirović and Chinese Ambassador Chen Bo on January 6.
The memorandum is between the Republic of Serbia, national passenger train operator Srbija Voz, Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC and China Railway International.
The ministry said the future trains would comply with all applicable domestic and European standards, including EU Technical Specifications for Interoperability.
The MoU also envisages the possibility of establishing research & development, production, training and maintenance centres in Serbia.
‘The Chinese and Serbian sides have made great efforts to ensure that the Beograd – Budapest high speed railway project progresses continuously, normally and stably’, said Ambassador Chen Bo. ‘In the last two months, we have seen great and concrete progress on the construction site.
‘The signing of this memorandum opens a new space for our co-operation in transport’, she said. ‘China has the most developed technology in the production of high-speed trains, and Chinese companies are ready to share their high technology with Serbian partners and contribute to the economic development of Serbia.’
China is participating in the development of a 370 km high-performance railway connecting the Serbian and Hungarian capitals under a memorandum of understanding signed by the three countries in December 2014.
The project includes a mix of upgraded lines and new construction, as well as the installation of ETCS Level 2.
China Railway International and China Communications Construction Co were appointed main contractors for modernisation of the 75 km Beograd – Stara Pazova section, and in July 2018 they were awarded a €943m contract covering the 108 km between Novi Sad and the border at Subotica.
Russia Railways subsidiary RZD International has been awarded a US$248m contract covering the 40 km between Stara Pazova and Novi Sad.
In June 2019 the CRE consortium of local company RM International (50%), China Tiejiuju Engineering & Construction and China Railway Electrification Engineering Group was awarded a HF590bn contract covering the 150 km Hungarian section from the border to Budapest Soroksár, and in April 2020 China’s EximBank signed a loan agreement to finance 85% of this part of the project. Completion is envisaged by 2025.
- China’s involvement in the Beograd – Budapest project was described in more detail in the January 2018 issue of Railway Gazette International magazine, which subscribers can access in the digital archive.