The governments of China and Hungary have signed an agreement on the development, construction and financing of the Hungarian section of Hungary-Serbia high-speed railway.
Under the agreement, a consortium led by China Railway Group (CRG) has been awarded a CNY10bn ($1.57bn) contract to build the 160km Hungarian section of a railway linking Budapest with Belgrade, and will also be responsible for the general management of the project.
In addition to CRG, the consortium includes CRG's China Railway International Group (CRIG), China Railway International (CRI), a subsidiary of national operator China Railway Corporation and Hungarian State Railways.
Both CRI and CRIG will jointly hold an 85% stake in the consortium. The Chinese firms will finance 85% of the project, while the remaining 15% will come from Hungary.
Construction of a high-speed line is scheduled to start this year.
The project is said to be the first concrete success of the China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) partnership.
The 350km Hungary-Serbia project is expected to be completed in two years.
The project is an additional two-track linking line and electrification project of the existing railway, with the designed maximum speed of 200km/h and a designed operating speed of 160km/h.
In July, Stadler Bussnang won a €125m contract from Hungarian State Railways' passenger unit MÁV-Start to deliver 21 additional Flirt electric multiple units (EMUs).
The modern, energy-saving EMUs will be operated on Budapest's suburban services.