Richard Hörcsik, chairman of the Parliament's European Affairs Committee, proposed the renovation of the 150-year-old first railway line in Galicia next year at the international conference called Europe of the Carpathians, held in Krasiczyn, southeastern Poland, on Saturday.
At the 35th three-day conference, which started on Friday, Richárd Hörcsik spoke at a podium discussion on Central European transport, together with Polish Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk and Polish Member of the European Parliament Bogdan Rzonca, among others.
Hörcsik recalled: through the line opened in 1874, passing through Mezőlaborc, Homonna, Terepes, Sátoraljaújhely, the northeastern tip of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy joined the blood circulation of Europe.
He asked the question: one hundred and fifty years ago, "the Galician railway brought rapid development to the region - why not try to renew it?"
He recalled: in 2006, the journey of the commemorative train, which was started on one occasion between Sárospatak and the city of Krosno in southeastern Poland, on the existing sections of the railway, took 7 hours, while with local services it would take up to 10 hours. In 1874, however, the same section could be covered in 4 hours, he noted.
Fortepan / József Plohn
Richárd Hörcsik underlined: in the Polish-Slovak-Hungarian cooperation, the renovation of the railway line would be extremely important not only for the Polish Subcarpathian Voivodeship, but also for the Hungarian region.
"We are waiting for Polish tourists," he added.
Andrzej Adamczyk and Bogdan Rzonca assured their support for the proposal. In his speech, Adamczyk underlined that the transport network being built in the countries of the Three Seas Initiative does not only mean road connections. "It is not unfounded that we are talking not only about the road Via Carpatia, but also about the Rail Carpatia, which includes, among other things, the railway line leading to Hungary," he
In this context, he mentioned the Rzeszów-Miskolc-Budapest railway line, on which, as he said, even with a speed of 80-120 kilometers per hour, the journey would take only 5 hours, i.e. shorter time than the journey made by car nowadays.
The transport projects implemented along the eastern border of the European Union also affect cooperation with Ukraine, Adamczyk pointed out. He expressed his hope that the European Commission will expand the resources for projects aimed at cooperation.
Also referring to the proposal of Richárd Hörcsik, the main initiator of the conference, Minister Marek Kuchcinski, head of the Polish Prime Minister's Office, presented a statement. In the document adopted on Saturday, the participants of Europe of the Carpathians call for Brussels to provide adequate funding for key investments in Central Europe, including Via Carpatia and Rail Carpatia.
Last December, the European Commission declared the Via Carpatia high-speed corridor between the Baltic, Aegean and Black Sea ports to be part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). Rail Carpatia is another project of the Polish government.