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The government and Hamburger Hafen & Logistik’s intermodal rail subsidiary Metrans have signed an agreement to build a freight hub at Zalaegerszeg, in the west of the country near Austria, Slovenia and Croatia and on routes to the Adriatic ports of Trieste, Koper and Rijeka.
Metrans will invest more than €40m to build and equip the terminal, including, a grant from Hungarian institutions amounting to €11m. ‘This major financial investment demonstrates how important Hungary is to the further development of Metrans’, said Peter Kiss, Chairman of the Metrans executive board, on February 19. ‘The planned terminal will help to give the country a further boost towards becoming one of the most efficient logistical hubs in Europe.’
Construction is expected to start this autumn, with the first phase to begin operation in 2023. Metrans expects that approximately 120 new jobs will be created.
‘We are investing in Hungary because we see significant potential there for rail transport’, said Angela Titzrath, Chair of HHLA’s Executive Board. ’The Adriatic corridor is developing into an extremely important European transport axis. That is why we also recently acquired a port terminal in the Italian city of Trieste. And Hungary, with its location at the heart of Europe, is of key significance to the expansion of the Metrans network towards southern and southeastern Europe.’
Metrans said the volume of containers transported by rail in Hungary had grown steadily in recent years. The Budapest terminal which it opened in 2017 handled 250 000 TEU in its first year, increasing to 425 000 TEU in 2019.
Metrans currently operates regular block trains connecting Hungary to Duisburg and the North Sea ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam, and to the Adriatic ports of Trieste and Koper.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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