Project Phases | Status

Permission Planning

Authority procedure underway for new railway line in Slovakia and Austria

Another phase in the assessment of whether a new rail cargo link from Europe to Asia is feasible was formally launched in Slovakia and Austria on November 15, 2018. The relevant ministries of both countries took in the applications necessary to allow for environmental impact assessments.

The plans for the envisaged new cargo line already promise important improvements for the environment as they will enable to cargo to move more efficiently with all the environmental advantages that a heavy-duty cargo rail line has over transport by road and sea, in addition to the time savings to bring goods to markets in Europe and Asia. "If this new cargo railway line is built, there is a realistic expectation for moving goods from roads and other forms of transport to more environmentally acceptable railway transport. Compared to goods that use sea and water routes it would also be a much faster option from, say, Japan, China or Korea, saving up to 20 days and propelling Slovakia and Austria into the forefront of the modern cargo systems of the future," explains Anton Dulak, project manager at Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft for Slovakia.

Europe's new railway connection with Asia would also bring the significant benefits in terms of employment, tax revenues and added value for the involved countries due to greater flows of cargo. At the same time, the volume of goods transported by more environmentally friendly rail systems would increase. The conclusions were already reached by a number of studies carried out to date by Deloitte's, Roland Berger and others for Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft based in Vienna, a joint venture company jointly owned by the national railway companies of Austria (ÖBB), Slovakia (ŽSR), Ukraine (UZ) and Russia (RZD) for cooperation on this project.

Ultimately if all the feasibility studies, including the EIA in Slovakia and the SEA in Austria continue to give a green light for the project, the likely next steps are as follows:

Timetable - eight years from now

In Slovakia, a new terminal in the Nové Zámky district and a maintenance depot in Haniska will be built. A similar terminal for the transhipment of goods to other road and rail connections would be built in Austria once the new railway lines are cleared for construction.

According to the current timetable, construction of the railway connection would take approximately eight years. The start of construction of the terminals would depend on obtaining final authority approval in the participating countries, as well as the result of the completed feasibility study.

Economic benefits

The potential economic benefits of the new link to Asia for the twin city region and to all countries involved are vast. Current analysis suggest that the project would create new work in both countries for about 13,000 employees. More than half of the working opportunities would be allocated to Slovakia.

The created jobs would generate the added value of more than 28.6 billion euros in the four project countries: 2.0 billion euros in Russia; 0.3 billion euros in Ukraine; 10.8 billion euros in Slovakia and 15.5 billion euros in Austria. The project is expected to generate new tax income of more than 9,6 billion euros.

The construction of the new railway connection is estimated to cost approximately 6.4 billion euros but the benefits in terms of tax, employment and added value confirm that this sum would generate appropriate returns. The Partner countries are currently evaluating several different investment models for construction including private investment.

Feasibility Study

Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft mbH completes Feasibility Studies for EUR 6.49 Billion infrastructure investment into new European gateway to China

Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft mbH („BPG”), the Vienna based joint venture between the four national railway companies, today announced the results of promising feasibility studies. The studies examined a major new EU based railway project to serve as a 21st century cargo connection from Central Europe to China, the Far East, Russia and Ukraine by linking up efficiently with existing Trans-Siberian railway corridors. The route shall benefit from the position of Austria and Slovakia as logistics hubs, for transporting cargo on standard gauge railways in the EU.

The studies commissioned by the four partners ÖBB Infrastruktur AG (Railways of Austria), ŽSR (Railways of the Slovak Republic), UZ (Ukrzaliznytsia, the national railway of Ukraine, and RZD (Russian Railways) evaluated a number of possibilities for the construction of the link that would be able to transport about 23 million/tonnes per year with a considerable time saving from and to the Far East, when compared to existing sea and other routes. The project is complementary to the Chinese Road and Belt initiative. Various assessments of the macro-economic impact of the project demonstrate positive benefits to all four participating countries as well as to neighbouring countries.

The partners are currently evaluating investment models identified in the studies for the construction of the approximately 400 km new gateway project, including traditional state funding, as well as building a Public Private Partnerships („PPP“) financed partially by the state railways and partly by institutional investors. The current economic model has shown market adequate returns, making the project attractive to institutional investors.

Overall, through equity and additional debt financing, approximately EUR 6.49 billion would be invested in infrastructure development for the new railway line, cargo hubs as well as rolling stock.

This new infrastructure project will, in a relative short period of time, help address the significant need for faster delivery of goods between the EU and China. The infrastructure improvements are forecasted to have a major positive impact on macroeconomic development.

“Executive Summary – Results of the Feasibility Studies as of August 2017”

Start of the next Project Phase:

© H. Krischanz

On the 5th of July 2013 the CEOs of the Austrian, Russian, Slovak and Ukrainian Railways signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” concerning the start and financing of the next Phase of the Project “1,520 mm railway connection Košice-Vienna”.

Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft mbH started now the EU-wide procurement procedure for “Engineering Services for the Elaboration of a Feasibility Study (technical and environmental part) incl. Corridor and Route Selection and as an option Pre-Design”. The Contract notice was published in the Supplement to the Official Journal of The European Union (Ted: tenders electronic daily) on the 31st of August.

The procurement documents can be requested under

Contract notice - Feasibility Study

Pre-Feasibility Study

We have recently received the pre- feasibility study for the project from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. way companies A detailed evaluation of the report, along with the state authorities responsible in each of the partner countries is now in process. The next planning phase will begin following the presentation of the results of this analysis. To ensure careful quality and project management, conclusions will only be drawn after detailed and intensive evaluations of all the ecological, legal, technical and economic factors involved and the further steps necessary to continue the project will be undertaken by Breitspur Planungsgesellschaft.

This phase will be followed by further market and competitive analysis, the development of a detailed business model, the production processes in the existing corridor and the optimization of traffic movements, as well as the evaluation of strategic cooperation. Towards the end of this process, a detailed market entry concept for the broad-gauge infrastructure will be presented.

There will also be a further assessment of the estimated number of trains for the standard-gauge network in Austria after the completion of the broad-gauge railway. Moreover, the related development plans will be subject to close examination and further project phases will be defined, so that a comprehensive feasibility study can be carried out by winter 2011.

The careful consideration of economic viability and location policy, as well as economic analysis and transport related studies will serve as the decision making criteria for the investments required for such a large economic policy project.

Final Report - Pre-Feasibility Study

Pre-Feasibility Study

Download the Final Report »

The Stages

Pre-Feasibility Study

Feasibility Study

Permission Planning

Detailled Planning


Start of Operations

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