Hungary to host Europe’s first 5G railway hub

By Mike Hayes19 October 2021

Latest communications technology will allow remote control of onsite equipment

An impression of a gantry crane loading containers at the under-construction East-West Gate Intermodal Terminal in Hungary

Hungary is set to host Europe’s first railway terminal with a private 5G network.

The East-West Gate Intermodal Terminal (EWG), set to be Europe’s largest smart railway logistics terminal, is being built on an 85 hectare site in Fenyeslitke, close to Hungary’s border with Ukraine.

Vodafone Hungary and a Hungarian subsidiary of the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, have signed an agreement to supply the terminal’s 5G network, which will facilitate internal communications, as well as the remote operation of equipment on site, including gantry cranes.

According to a report from the Xinhua News Agency, the 5G technology will enable the terminal to handle approximately one million containers per year, when the project is completed in the first quarter of next year.

Animated aerial view of the terminal, showing containers, tracks and warehouse units

The normal track section and the corresponding railway overhead contact line and spatial lighting system have reportedly been completed, while the wide-gauge track connection and related telecommunications works are yet to be built.

Development on the existing marshalling track network is also still to be undertaken, as well as the construction of approximately 500,000m2 of warehouses, plus assembly and production plants.

Colin Cai, CEO of Huawei Technologies Hungary, said, “The private 5G networks of our company make digitalisation of completely new branches of industry possible. Huawei has already built many similar systems in China. In Europe, however, this is the first container terminal where a self-driving, remote-controlled solution, which is implemented by means of the 5G technology, will be used.”

He added that, “The customised, high data security private 5G network makes wireless real-time remote control on the entire container terminal area possible. Due to the network, efficiency will increase significantly and working conditions will change.”

János Tálosi, CEO of East-West Intermodal Logistics Services, said,”The operational efficiency of the terminal can be maximized by using 5G technology. An opportunity for launching R&D projects will also be provided and the industrial application of this technology, which is just breaking into the market, can be presented.”

An animation showing proposed operations at the terminal can be viewed here.

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