Hungary’s foreign minister has confirmed that the Visegrad Group countries have decided to jointly build a high-speed railway connecting Budapest, Bratislava, Brno and Warsaw.
Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made the announcement following talks with the transport ministers of the other three members in northern Slovakia on Monday.
The minister said the decision coincides with the political interests of all four members of the group comprising the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Minister Szijjártó said the public procurement tender for drawing up a feasibility study for the project will be called as early as this week. The next step will be to convene a Visegrad Four working group of officials representing the four countries in November, he added.
The minister said the public procurement process would last for half a year and the feasibility study would be completed in a year and a half or two years.
The new two-track line would be suitable for trains up to a speed of 250 km/h. The trains will only stop in the three capital cities and Brno.
The talks were also attended by representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB). The bank has so far financed lots of rail projects but only 14 percent of them were in central Europe. Minister Szijjarto said that loan offers will also be invited from other financial institutions. “This will be a typical Visegrad project, with all the four countries involved in talks on funding,” he said.