A roughly 3 kilometer-long railroad viaduct in Serbia over the River Danube floodplain, part of the country’s first high-speed railroad, was formally completed in a March 25 ceremony attended by state president Aleksandar Vučić.
The project will involve about 180 km of new construction and upgrades being developed by China Communications Construction Co. with China Railway International under a 2016 deal involving substantial Chinese government loans. The new viaduct is near Čortanovci.
Part of Beijing’s “Belt and Road” global infrastructure strategy, the Serb project is China’s first European railroad venture, according to China Communications.
Hungary has since made similar arrangements for its part of the planned 350-km, $2.9-billion Budapest-Belgrade railroad that will handle passenger and freight trains up to 200 km per hour.
RZD International, the Russia-based contractor on the roughly 40-km Novi Sad to Stara Pazova section, used formwork from Germany’s PERI GmbH. The contractor claims to have incorporated Russian technology in the viaduct structure to reduce vibrations when trains pass over the viaduct.
The Budapest-Belgrade corridor is part of a broader high-speed rail plan to reach the port of Athens at Piraeus, which is controlled by Shanghai-based China COSCO Shipping Corporation Ltd.