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GYSEV to renovate Szombathely-Szentgotthárd line for Ft 15 bln

The Győr-Sopron-Ebenfurt Railway (GYSEV) Zrt, a shared holding of the states of Hungary and Austria, plans to spend Ft 15 billion-Ft 16 billion to renovate and electrify a 54 kilometer rail line between Szombathely and Szentgotthárd in 2007 and 2008, board chairman András Szabó said in Wednesday's issue of business daily Világgazdaság.

Management of the line will be transferred to GYSEV by year-end, according to a decision in the summer by Minister of Economy and Transport Janis Kóka. Kóka said the move was necessary because state-owned Hungarian railway company MÁV Zrt lacked the funding to renovate the line. The project will be funded in part with a Ft 2.5 billion capital raise to be subscribed by its Austrian owners. GYSEV is also relying on EU funding, for which it will be able to apply in Q1 2007.
GYSEV plans to divert some freight and passenger traffic from its Vienna-Graz line to the Szombathely-Szentgotthárd line, Szabó said. Although the line is 40-50 kilometers longer, it is not as hilly, and therefore cheaper to travel. GYSEV envisions a 30% increase in freight traffic along the stretch, Szabó said.