A new rail route, linking three regional centres in the Slovenian – Hungarian – Croatian border region, can use infrastructure proposed here earlier. The only additional infrastructure is a triangular junction, north of Lendava. Trains from Murska Sobota would use the proposed inter-regional line Maribor – Prekmurje – Zalaegerszeg. At the junction, they would turn south to Lendava, and continue over existing alignments, upgraded as a regional line Zalaegerszeg – Lendava – Čakovec – Varaždin.
Murska Sobota (population 12 000) is the centre of the Slovenian Prekmurje region. It is connected to the Slovenian rail network by an indirect route, via Ormoz and Pragersko. It would be directly connected to Maribor by the proposed inter-regional line to Zalaegerszeg, branching from a high-speed line to Vienna.
The options for a new line, eastwards from Murska Sobota, were described here earlier. The line can follow the new A5 motorway (in red), or it can run south-east to Beltinci, en then turn east toward Rédics (in yellow).
Click to enlarge …
If it runs straight to Rédics, then trains would use a new west-to-south curve, about 1500 m west of the station. The cross-border section Rédics – Lendava is currently abandoned, but would be restored as part of the proposed regional line Zalaegerszeg – Varaždin.
The rest of the line to Čakovec closed to passengers in 2010: it would be upgraded as part of the regional line from Zalaegerszeg. The Lendava – Čakovec section would have three intermediate stations.
Click to enlarge: the lines at Čakovec…
From Čakovec, the 11-km singe-track line to Varaždin would be upgraded. It crosses the river Drava into Varaždin (population 50 000), a county capital. At present, Varaždin is served by regional lines, but it is on the proposed high-speed line Maribor – Ptuj – Koprivnica, which would continue as the Drava plain high-speed line to Beograd (Belgrade).
The total length of the route, via a triangular junction at Rédics, is 65 km. With only six intermediate stations, and good alignments in flat terrain, journey time would be under an hour.