The Hungarian railway network is extensive offering links to the Balkans and to the East, connecting the country to the western markets. A significant amount of trade is done by rail within the Carpathian basin.
The network is 8057 kilometres long and is quite centralised with Budapest serving as a hub. The percentage of the electrification is relatively low as only 2911 km of the total 7802 km standard gauge network is modernised. A broad gauge is used mainly in the post-soviet region. Therefore it is beneficial for Hungary having a logistics centre in Záhony (on the border to the Ukraine).
Corridor number IV and V of the Pan-European Network runs through the country. Hungary is also involved in the development of cargo freight corridor number VI. The freight transport market is liberalised and there are private companies operating in Hungary, but the local market is largely dominated by an Austrian company.
In the current budgetary cycle of the EU between 2007 and 2013 funds were allocated to raise the quality of the network and the service. This included the modernisation of the cargo hub in Záhony whereas several lines got renovated or projects are currently underway. Hungarian State Railways have purchased carriages in this budgetary cycle and a GSM-R system is network is built right now.
a new cargo freight link avoiding Budapest called V0 is expected to be ready and in operation in 2017 (financed by the Chinese)
reconstruction of the Budapest-Belgrade link
Getting into the market
Good references are a must. As there is a strong Austrian and German presence in this sector, it is important to have personal, informal contacts that can be made at major trade fairs and exhibition. The majority of the large scale infrastructure projects are published in the Tenders Electronic Daily and in the Hungarian Procurement Gazette.
Local market knowledge is inevitable to participate at procurement procedures. UKTI Budapest strongly recommends interested British companies to appoint a legal adviser and/or a procurement specialist as local regulations are relatively strict. Having a link to the decision makers and the industry people in advance is key to success.
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.
Gabor Imeli, British Embassy Budapest Tel: +36 (1) 429 6254 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.