This regional rail line would link Bečej to Novi Bečej, across the river Tisa/Tisza. The 11-km link would improve east-west rail infrastructure, in the Vojvodina region. At Bečej, it would cross the proposed 132 km Szeged – Bečej – Novi Sad line, which follows the river. The new link would allow new regional services: Kikinda – Bečej, and Vrbas – Bečej – Zrenjanin. East of the Tisza, at Novi Bečej, it would connect to the existing Kikinda – Zrenjanin line. All these lines would be upgraded, doubled where necessary, and electrified.
Click to enlarge…
The alignment itself is very simple. From Bečej station, which is aligned north-south, the new line would run north to clear the built-up area. It would then turn to cross the river. On the other side, it would turn south into Novi Bečej station, also aligned north-south. Demolition would be very limited – about 5-10 buildings. Outside the towns, the line would cross reclaimed farmland (in former meanders), with almost no buildings.
Bečej ( Бечеј, Hungarian Óbecse) is the larger town, with 26 000 inhabitants, and a municipal total of 41 000. It is in the Bačka (Bácska) region, west of the Tisa. The regional city is Novi Sad (population 370 000), 40 km to the south. Bečej station is about 1500 m west of the centre (which is close to the river).
Novi Bečej (Нови Бечеј, Hungarian Törökbecse), has 14 000 inhabitants, with a total 27 000 in the municipality. Here the station is about 1500 m east of the centre. The town is in the historical Banat region, and closer to the city of Zrenjanin (population 130 000).
The two towns do not face each other across the river – Novi Bečej is about 6 km downstream form Bečej. Since 1977, there is a road bridge, but it is combined with a lock and floodgates and the road is well south of both towns. Similarly, the new rail line would not link the two town centres directly – a fast river ferry would be a better option for that. The rail line would have a regional, rather than local, function.
Trains from Kikinda would not serve Novi Bečej: north of the station, they would use a curve to the new link line. This service would have only one intermediate station, at Novo Miloševo (population 7000). It would be logical to extend it as an inter-regional service to Novi Sad, via the proposed Bečej – Novi Sad line. Kikinda is on the proposed Budapest – Timişoara HSL, and the proposed renewed Kikinda – Arad line.
Click to enlarge: The Kikinda – Bečej line, with the new link across the Tisa. The base map is an Austro-Hungarian military map, circa 1910, using German and Hungarian place-names.
The line from Kikinda to Novi Bečej is currently used by the 68-km Zrenjanin – Kikinda service. This route, Serbian line 40, is entirely east of the river Tisa. The new cross-river service would run from Zrenjanin to Novi Bečej, and over the new bridge to Bečej. From there, it would continue over the existing alignment to Vrbas, a regional town of comparable size (population 26 000, municipality 46 000). Vrbas is on the existing main line from Budapest, also the route of the proposed HSL Budapest – Beograd. The Zrenjanin – Vrbas service could be extended to Sombor.