The Hungarian government's 27th February 2013 decision on the construction of the V0 freight rail ring bypassing Budapest is of great importance for Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt. The construction of the project – with a planned investment of 360 billion – may already begin in the spring of 2014 and might be finished by 2017. Upon completion, the rail ring could shorten the turnaround time of transit transports by days.
Reflecting upon the announcement, Imre Kovács, the chairman of Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt.’s board highlighted the benefits presented by the construction of the new, double-track railway route intended solely for the purposes of rail freight traffic. RCH will have the opportunity to expand its business partnerships as a result of the decrease in turnaround times, and create more advantageous conditions for the rail transport of goods from Middle Eastern and Far Eastern industrial centres to Western European destinations via Záhony.
Currently goods transported in the classic East-West traffic travel for days through Hungary. As a result of the Budapest-centred railway network, the bulk of the railway transported goods travel through the Ferencváros station even today. Since passenger trains enjoy priority, freight trains are sometimes kept waiting. The advantages of the V0 bypass will also be manifest in the realization of the Southeast European business endeavours of Rail Cargo Group, since turnaround times between Turkey, Romania and Western Europe will also decrease. Imre Kovács emphasized the fact that – as a result of long turnaround times – Hungary has a serious competitive disadvantage to alternative routes bypassing the country. The changeover process was dynamically developed in Slovakia and Poland drawing away significant transport volumes from Hungarian traffic. This, in part, is the reason why twenty years ago an annual 100 million tons of goods passed through the country, while today a mere 40 million tons pass through.
The new freight rail route diverges from the main railway route number 1 (connecting Budapest with Győr and Vienna) at Tatabánya-Szárliget, and reaches the route number 100 (connecting Budapest with Cegléd and Nyíregyháza) via the Vértesboglár - Vértesarcsa - Ercsi - Kiskunlacháza - Bugyi - Dabas route. The route will be built to have branch lines toward Székesfehérvár, Pusztaszabolcs, Kecskemét and Szeged. The 113 km long railway passage will cross over the Danube twice – requiring the construction of two new rail bridges.
Freight trains may travel at a speed of 160 km/h on the planned double track, fully electrified railway network. According to the plans, the new route would enable rail freight consignments to cross the country within a single day instead of their current multi-day travel.