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"The Road to Happiness" - The Hungary-Serbia Railway Brings Huge Dividends to Local Development

2024-05-15 | Xinhua


A train runs on the bridge over the Sava River in the Beška section of the Hungary-Serbia railway in Serbia. Source: Xinhua News Agency

The Hungary-Serbia railway starts at the Novi Sad station in Serbia and ends at the border between Serbia and Hungary, with a total length of 108.1 kilometers. The track laying started on April 6, 2023.

In a camp in the Novi Sad section, a heartwarming story was told by Ning Zeyuan, a staff member of the Hungary-Serbia railway project. Last November, four ladies arrived at the construction site with packages of various sizes and waved to the busy workers. One of the ladies said happily, "My name is Ružica Frajic, thank you for your efforts in building our city. These are cakes and cookies made by us, please accept them."

"I feel very proud," Ning Zeyuan said. The project staff took these gifts as a bond witnessing the sincere friendship between China and Serbia.

The Belgrade to Novi Sad section of the Hungary-Serbia railway has been in operation for over two years, fulfilling Serbia's "high-speed rail dream." May 1st is a public holiday in Serbia. In the afternoon of that day, Hannah, a Serbian girl working in Belgrade, boarded the train to Novi Sad. Outside the window was the wide and calm Danube River. Hannah visits her boyfriend in Novi Sad every weekend or holiday. Before the opening of the Belgrade to Novi Sad section of the Hungary-Serbia railway, the railway journey was long, and the station and carriage environments were average. Sometimes, she had to take a long-distance bus. Now, the local people have a faster and more comfortable travel option.

Zoran Petrović, a 69-year-old engineer at the Serbia project office of the Hungary-Serbia railway, has worked in the field of railway electrification and electrical construction for over 40 years. He lives in the small town of Zemun near Belgrade and commutes between Zemun and Novi Sad every day. In the past, it took 1 hour and 40 minutes to go to Novi Sad, but now it only takes 45 minutes. Petrović calls this fast commute a "happy dual-city life." This railway is another witness to the friendship between China and Serbia, and has become the "road to happiness" in the eyes of the local people.

Over the past two years, the Belgrade to Novi Sad section of the Hungary-Serbia railway has transported more than 7 million passengers. Serbian President Vučić said during his inspection of the construction site that the entire line of the Hungary-Serbia railway in Serbia will be completed by the end of 2024. By then, the travel time from the capital Belgrade to Subotica will be shortened to 1 hour and 15 minutes. "For the Serbian people and the whole country, this is a huge change and of great significance to the local residents."

The Hungary-Serbia railway is a landmark project in the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" by China and Central and Eastern European countries. In the eyes of Serbian President Vučić, the Hungary-Serbia railway is a successful example of multi-country cooperation projects. Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán said that Hungary-China relations have maintained good development in recent years and achieved fruitful results. The investment and cooperation of Chinese companies, including the construction of the Hungary-Serbia railway, have significantly promoted Hungary's economic and social development.

This "road to happiness" is of great significance for expanding economic cooperation between China, Hungary, and Serbia, strengthening interconnection in the European region, and promoting the joint construction of the "Belt and Road," and will also bring huge dividends to regional development.

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Translated by Li Wei