A major effort to modernize passenger rail in Serbia is underway as part of a project stretching from Budapest, Hungary and Athens, Greece via Belgrade, Serbia. This is part of the EU’s big picture plan to strengthen the connections between European countries in an effort to create smart and sustainable growth.
The first segment of this modernization, between Belgrade and Novi Sad, is due to begin revenue service by the end of 2021. Travelers will be able to purchase a one-way ticket for 8 euros and the new journey time will be reduced to 27 minutes over the 60 mile segment or half the time of driving.
The new electric trains are reported to be double decker, seat over 500 passengers and travel up to 120 mph. They are expected to be similar to the Westbahn trains running between Salzburg and Vienna. These trains offer a combination of speed, comfort, affordability and convenience.
The eventual link from Budapest to Athens via Belgrade is a huge step towards connecting Eastern Europe with fast, frequent and dependable trains. The 640 mile high-speed line is comparable to a connection between Atlanta and Washington, DC. As we mentioned last week, using the Integrated Network Approach, you can identify how a single high-speed line can end up improving travel between hundreds, if not thousands of city pairs. This is the benefit of thinking big and having an ambitious plan as a guide, It makes each individual segment that much more valuable.
It’s time to establish a bold federal program for passenger rail across the U.S. One that links all of our existing state and regional plans into a coordinated project that the entire country can get behind. That’s the approach being taken all across the world and we can’t afford to fall any farther behind.