Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Renovation of the railway line connecting Békéscsaba and Lőkösháza (RRF)

Organisation: Clean Air Action Group Website: Added: March 20, 2023
Project start date: January 01, 2022
Project end date: December 31, 2026


Békéscsaba and Lőkösháza, a city and a village in Hungary respectively, are located in the south-eastern part of the Great Hungarian Plain, close to the Hungarian-Romanian border. An important international railway line crosses the border in this area, connecting Budapest with Istanbul via Békéscsaba and Lőkösháza. The objective of the project, planned to be financed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility, is to renovate the 30.3-km-long national railway line between Békéscsaba and Lőkösháza and to ensure a speed of 160 km/h and an axle load of 225 kN on the line as a result. The broader aim of the project is to improve the efficiency of regional transport, while also ensuring the green development of the Hungarian railway system. These above-mentioned goals are to be achieved by the reconstruction of the existing railway track and three existing train stations, as well as the construction of a second track and additional infrastructure used by the railway system. There may be concerns regarding the estimated costs of the renovation, as the necessary financial resources mentioned in the legal documents seem to be higher than what is reasonable for a similar project. The official budget for the project is 126 800 000 000 HUF, which means that 4 850 000 000 HUF per kilometre would be needed to complete the project. According to a study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the investment cost of the construction of the Trans-European High-Speed Railway is approximately 4 900 000 000 HUF per kilometres. While the Hungarian project focuses on the reconstruction of an already existing railway line on a plain terrain, the Trans-European project aims to build a completely new railway system including construction on mountainous terrain, thus including expensive engineering solutions (bridges, tunnels, etc.). When comparing the estimated costs and construction characteristics of the two projects mentioned above, the renovation of the railway line connecting Békéscsaba and Lőkösháza appears to be overpriced.

Financial data

Total: ~ 336 000 000 Euro (% of EU funding: no information available yet) (HUF ~ 126 800 000 000)


- It is recommended to support the moderization of railway lines to decarbonize public and freight transport.

- An efficient utilization of financial resources should be ensured in order to avoid wasting resources during the completion of the project. The project budget should reasonably reflect the level of the project’s engineering content.

Information sources

Other info

The duration of the programme is 33 months, but the exact dates of implementation are not known.

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.