The Central European Nation of Hun­gary has en­tered a USD$2.1 bil­lion loan agree­ment with China for the mod­erni­sa­tion of the rail line link­ing the Hun­gar­ian cap­i­tal of Bu­dapest with Bel­grade in Ser­bia.

The rail­way up­grade is the first ma­jor Belt & Road in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject in Eu­rope and Hun­gary’s sec­ond most ex­pen­sive in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject af­ter its Paks nu­clear plant.

Hun­gary it­self will cover 15% of the costs for the up­grade of the rail link be­tween Bu­dapest and the Ser­bian cap­i­tal of Bel­grade, which was built around four decades ago.

Upon com­ple­tion the up­graded route will be part of a broader net­work con­nect­ing Greece’s Pi­raeus port with the rest of both Eu­rope and the Eurasian con­ti­nent.

“It’s im­por­tant for us to de­velop this net­work, not just for our­selves but of course this freight will flow fur­ther to Aus­tria, to Ger­many, to Slo­va­kia and into Eu­rope,” said György Fir­bás, a Hun­gar­ian trans­port lo­gi­cian, to Chi­nese state-owned me­dia.

“This is the oldest and the least modern, the most outdated part of the Hungarian Network that is still in everyday heavy freight use.”