Visegrad Group plans to build high-speed rail network

Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary declared their intention to build a new Budapest-Bratislava-Brno-Warsaw high speed passenger service.

Arpad Ersek, Slovakian minister for Transport and Construction said that technical and profitability studies are underway. “The route in question will be able to operate trains going up to 300 km/h, for this we need a new track, capable of handling higher speeds” he said.

The Minister stated that the goal is to create an alternative to air travel. He pointed out that rail stations are located in city centres, and so save the travel time needed for transit to airports located on the outskirts of cities. Boarding time would also be saved.

Polish Infrastructure minister, Andrzej Adamczyk said that a search for funding sources is underway.The ministers also agreed to apply pressure on the EU, so that subsidies for developing road infrastructure will not be reduced.

“For the economy and its growth, development of infrastructure is essential” said Tamas Schanda, the Hungarian minister for Innovation.

Czech minister of Transport, Vladimir Kremlik, stated that further development of high-speed rail will be the priority for the Czech Republic when it presides over the Visegrad Group.

Setting up a cooperative system for extracting the fees due when using the road network was another measure discussed. The EU already has a system for extracting traffic ticket payments across borders, but it does not cover road use charges.