Huawei to Implement Europe’s First Smart Railway Hub in Hungary at Emerging “Gateway” for the New Silk Road

On Octo­ber 6, accord­ing to Chi­nese media, Huawei signed a coop­er­a­tion agree­ment to build Europe’s first smart rail­way hub in Hun­gary that is to be equipped with a pri­vate 5G net­work for inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion and tech­ni­cal equip­ment man­age­ment.  The Chi­nese state-run Glob­al Times has tout­ed the agree­ment as a path­way to open oth­er seem­ing­ly reluc­tant Euro­pean coun­tries to imple­ment­ing Huawei’s 5G indus­tri­al solutions.

The smart rail­way hub will report­ed­ly be built on 85 hectares of land in Fenyeslitke, Hun­gary and will become Europe’s largest intel­li­gent mul­ti-modal rail­way hub, as well as Europe’s first rail­way port to use a 5G pri­vate net­work.  The agree­ment is between Huawei and Hungary’s East-West Inter­modal Logis­tics and British telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions oper­a­tor, Vodafone.

Sit­u­at­ed near its bor­der with Ukraine, Hungary’s Fenyeslitke ter­mi­nal has pre­vi­ous­ly been char­ac­ter­ized as an emerg­ing east-west “gate­way” for the New Silk Road that encour­ages a car­go tran­sit route from Chi­na through Rus­sia, Ukraine, and Hun­gary.  An added dif­fer­en­tia­tor of the ter­mi­nus appears to be that it is a “gauge-chang­ing” ter­mi­nal that is com­pat­i­ble with both wide and nor­mal gauge rail­way tracks.

5G imple­men­ta­tion at the ter­mi­nal is part of an effort to mod­ern­ize and boost the facility’s tran­sit role in the region. Where­as, typ­i­cal­ly, most car­go from Asia to Europe arrives through Poland, this new tran­sit route would, if real­ized, cre­ate a faster and cheap­er tran­sit option between Chi­na and south­east and cen­tral Euro­pean markets.

Accord­ing to media reports, the $73 mil­lion ter­mi­nal is sched­uled to open in Jan­u­ary 2022, with an ini­tial load­ing capac­i­ty of 15,000 square meters, which will ulti­mate­ly be expand­ed to a load­ing capac­i­ty of approx­i­mate­ly 500,000 square meters.