3rd Intermodal Road Map completed for Hungary


The Round Table convened high-level representatives of the Hungarian inter-modal industry and international stakeholders who discussed recent achievements and future prospects of intermodal transport in Hungary. They achieved a consent about the challenges that need to be faced for further growth and relevant measures that will be necessary to foster the increase of intermodal rail services.

The Road Map can be downloaded here.

The meeting was moderated by COSMOS project manager Uwe Sondermann (KombiConsult, Frankfurt am Main) and Niklas Galonske (HaCon) who concluded the following results which were agreed upon with invited participants:

  • Favorable location on the cross-roads between Western Europe, Balkan states, South-East-European countries and Ukraine.
  • Manufacturing industry e.g. automotive offers good opportunities for intermodal transport.
  • Different business models applied in HU: Terminal-to-Terminal & Door-to-Door, with basically the CT operator bridging between shipper or forwarder and railways, not the railways directly.
  • Continuous decrease of transport volumes since beginning of economic crisis in 2009. Dominance of road transport (70-80% of total transport volume excluding pipelines) over rail and inland waterways.
  • Major shares in rail freight transport are related to international relations, equally shared between import, export and transit traffic.
  • Major trade lanes are served by intermodal transports; mainly Germany (seaports) and Slovenia (Port of Koper) as well as gateway transports to Turkey (depending on production concept).
  • Three TEN-T corridors are touching Hungarian territory, where the “Mediterranean” (ex pan-European Corridor V) connects the EU with Ukraine at Zahony, the “Orient/East-Med” (ex Corridor IV) targets to Turkey and is almost identical with the “Rhine-Danube” corridor in Hungary which ends at the border with the non-EU member state Serbia.
  • The two RF-Corridors on Hungarian territory are synchronised with the geographical scope of respective TEN-T Corridors
  • Hungary is challenged by the implementation of the ERTMS corridors D and E on its territory by the year 2015. The implementation shall consider a parallel operation of existing and new safety systems, so that there is less impact on the railway undertakings equipping their locomotives.
  • Hungary could maintain the strategic corridors which were known from the pan-European integration and EU-accession process also with respect to the new regulations on TEN-T, RFC- and ERTMS-Corridors.
  • Railway undertakings and intermodal operators should carefully examine the implementation and whether the promised advantages do materialize.
  • Almost all principal freight lines (RFC + connection to Serbia) are electrified; some single track sections.
  • All main rail lines provide sufficient capacity to accommodate more trains.
  • The entire main rail network in Hungary offers a generous loading gauge of C 80 / P 410. Restrictions are caused by neighboring rail networks.
  • The maximum permitted train length is essential for proving efficient intermodal services. Most of the Hungarian rail network provides for a maximum permitted train length (including locomotives) of 750m, while smaller sections on RFC7 and RFC6 western parts provide only for 600m.
  • The majority of tracks only permit an axle load of up to 20t. Only 228 km of rail lines permit an axle load of 22.5t. Operators require a One-Stop-Shop for obtaining permissions and to increase the axle load to at least 22.5 t.
  • Several sections of the rail network provide for speed limitations, due to a lack of proper maintenance or re-investments in the past.
  • About 40% of the tracks operate with temporary or permanent speed restrictions because of overdue maintenance.
  • Generally border crossing is no major problem anymore; Most trains are processed according trust agreements.
  • Moderate rail access charges compared to neighboring RFC7 countries in favor of rail freight.
  • Hungary provides well developed intermodal transshipment terminals in the economic centres of Budapest (Bilk, Mahart) and Sopron (GySEV terminal) that serve the Hungarian market together with terminals in neighboring countries: Dunjaska Streda (SK) and Rail Port Arad (RO).
  • Smaller intermodal transshipment sites are not served with regular intermodal block train services.
  • No National terminal development plan in place, increasing traffic volumes together with limited investments in terminal infrastructure might lead to capacity limitations.

The Budapest event was the 3rd in a series of in total six Round Table meetings which have been organised within the COSMOS project for Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia since April 2013.
Klaus-Uwe Sondermann, KombiConsult GmbH
Phone +49.69.244 32 93 – 172, Fax +49.69.244 32 93 - 179
E-Mail usondermann@kombiconsult.com, Web www.kombiconsult.com