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Can you believe how much faster it will be to travel from Budapest to Vienna after this major Austrian development?
The travel time between Budapest and Vienna is currently longer than it should be due to the renewal of a segment of the railway line in Hungary. However, Austria has announced a grandiose railway development plan that will connect Budapest with Vienna’s international airport by train and significantly decrease travel time between the two capitals.
The Austrian railway company separated the Hungarian system from the Western one due to constant delays from the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV). This decision was made after Hungary’s minister for transport and construction, János Lázár, initiated the renewal of the Vienna-Budapest line. As a result, capacities from the Belgrade-Budapest railway development project had to be relocated, causing international trains to arrive late in Vienna. To maintain the timetable, the Austrians introduced a compulsory train change in Vienna’s railway station.
The renovation project is expected to be completed in December, restoring normal traffic. However, there are even more exciting developments to come thanks to Austria’s plans. The Austrian government intends to invest over EUR 21 billion in railway development projects between 2024 and 2029, in collaboration with their railway company, ÖBB. The objective is to increase the number of passengers and make railway transport more attractive for shipping companies.
One of the significant aspects of this ambitious project is the decrease in travel time between Budapest and Vienna. Between 2025 and 2029, the travel time is projected to go down from 2 hours and 40 minutes to 2 hours and 20 minutes, a significant 20-minute reduction. Additionally, a new railway line will be built to connect Vienna’s international airport, making it easily accessible from Budapest and Bratislava. This development will enable Hungarians and tourists in Hungary to access direct flights to destinations not currently connected with Budapest, such as Transatlantic flights.
The Vienna-Munich travel time will also decrease by 15 minutes, allowing travelers to arrive in Munich 35 minutes earlier when traveling from Budapest.
While Austria’s railway development plan brings promising prospects for travelers, Hungary has also announced its own railway development project. However, this project is currently just on paper due to the lack of funding. Even if the EU were to provide the necessary funds frozen due to concerns over the rule of law, it would still not be sufficient. The Hungarian government plans to commence the most pressing renovation works in 2024.
Despite the challenges, there have been some positive developments in Hungary’s railway infrastructure, such as the renewal of the Nyíregyháza-Debrecen railway line and the completion of a new Danube railway bridge in Budapest. However, NGOs have been protesting against connecting the new bridge to the railway system.
For now, due to the ongoing renovation work on the Budapest-Vienna railway line, trains are not commuting between Tatabánya and Szárliget until November 17. Afterwards, international and fast trains will resume their operations once one line is opened for traffic. The entire project is expected to be fully completed by December 9.
In conclusion, the major Austrian development in railway infrastructure will bring about significant improvements in travel between Budapest and Vienna. Not only will the travel time be reduced, but the new railway line to the international airport will enhance connectivity and accessibility for travelers in Hungary. While Hungary also has its own railway development plans, funding remains a challenge for the implementation of these projects. Nonetheless, the positive advancements made in Hungary’s railway system are worth acknowledging.

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By Maya Di Maria

Hello, I'm Maya, a 39-year-old Travel Agent. I specialize in creating unforgettable travel experiences for my clients. With my expertise and attention to detail, I ensure that every trip is tailored to meet their unique needs and preferences. Let's turn your travel dreams into reality!