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.