-“Serbian Railways” are very interested for modernization of Belgrade-Subotica line and further towards Budapest. We believe that Corridor 10 has absolute priority in development plans of Serbian Railways and modernization of its Northern branch towards Hungary presents a common need and interest of both our country and this part of Europe. The answer to the question what kind of line on this section we need and what maximum speed would be on the line must not be the solely political issue. Modernization of Belgrade – Subotica line is exclusively matter of “Serbian Railways” expert services and Ministry of Transport can not make decision on this issue without us. For this reason, it is not good that we have just found out about this meeting fifteen minutes ago, that we are the last ones to be included in discussions with the partners from China on modernization of this section and that the negotiations started without Serbian Railways.
However, that is a matter of Ministry of Transport and “Serbian Railways” relationship. New “Serbian Railways” management is not used to operate in such, improper manner. Nevertheless, Corridor 10 represents “spine” of Serbian railway traffic and we are very interested in this Northern branch that goes through our country and by the end of March “Serbian Railways” expert services will prepare our position on modernization of Belgrade-Subotica line, especially when it comes to optimal technical elements and necessary speeds,- said “Serbian Railways” Director General Dragoljub Simonović at the meeting with Consultant for Economic and Trade Affairs of Embassy of the People`s Republic of China Zhu Liangi, which was held today in Belgrade in “Serbian Railways” headquarters.
According to Mr. Simonović, modernization of the whole line Belgrade-Subotica-Budapest should be coordinated and “Serbian Railways” are ready to cooperate with Hungarian Railways on this project in order to provide optimal solutions and speeds on the whole international line.
The meeting of the “Serbian Railways” management and representatives of the Chinese Embassy in our country was organized after the Ministry for Transport had held meetings with partners from China and Ambassador of Hungary during the last couple of days on modernization of Belgrade-Budapest line without including Serbian Railways in the discussions.
– The good thing is that after everything that happened Serbian Railways are finally included in discussions, so that they could say what they need and what they stand for using their expert opinion regarding this project,- said Mr. Simonović and explained that so far it was planed to modernize Belgrade-Subotica line for the speeds of 160 km/h and that geometric characteristics of this route are for 200 km/h.
Mr. ZHU Liangi emphasized that loan funds for financing this project can be secured under different conditions in three manners, of which two are with state guarantees and third one is based on commercial principles. He said that Chinese partners are very interested in investing in this project and to secure necessary funds from their credit lines and to realize it successfully, but that Serbian and Hungarian Railways must show their interest and need for modernization of Belgrade-Budapest line.
– When we, by the end of March, receive expert services guidelines of “Serbian Railways”, this will represent first real movement in the realization of the whole project,- said Consultant for Economic and Trade Affairs of Embassy of the People`s Republic of China in Serbia, Zhu Liangi.
According to Assistant Minister for Railway and Intermodal Traffic Dejan Lasica, Serbian Government should soon make a conclusion and appoint working group that consists of representatives of appropriate Ministries and railway administrations of Serbia and Hungary, which will continue conversations on modernization of Belgrade-Subotica line. He also reminded that European Union made donation of EUR 6,8 million for development of project documentation for Belgrade-Subotica line, and that terms of references define speed on this line of 160 km/h and that tender procedure is on going.