January 18, 2016

Budapest inaugurates Buda tram connection

Written by  Ferenc Joo
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Budapest inaugurates Buda tram connection Gábor Takács

THE long-planned connection between the southern and northern tram systems on the Buda side of Budapest finally became a reality on January 16, transforming public transport services in the west of the Hungarian capital.

The so-called "interlaced tram project" involved rebuilding the short unused link between Line 17 and lines 4/6, a new connection between lines 4/6 and lines 18/61 at Széll Kálmán tér (formerly Moscow square) and constructing a new two-station link between line 17 and 19 between Margithíd and Batthány tér.

Previously north-south tram journeys within Buda required two changes or transferring to bus route 86, which has now been abolished.

The recast network provides direct services between Bécsi út and Savoya Park via BAH-csomópont (Line 17), Bécsi út and Kelenföld via Batthyány-tér (Line 19) and Bécsi út and Kamaraerdei Ifjúsági park via Batthyány-tér (Line 41). Line 18 is replaced by line 56 which now runs from Hűvösvölgy to Budafok, Városház tér. Lines 47, 49 and 59 are not affected by the changes.

The only delay to real through services is the rebuilding of the tunnel under the Chain Bridge at Clark Ádám tér which means passengers will have to walk between the split sections of lines 19 and 41 until March.

The name of the project comes from the short section of interlaced tracks under Margithíd across the Danube where there was insufficient space to construct a double track line.

The overall cost of the project, which was funded mostly by the EU, amounted to Forints 15.9bn ($US 54.9m) which does not include any additional rolling stock. However, Budapest Transport Company (BKV) is taking delivery of 47 CAF Urbos low-floor LRVs, some of which will operate on the lines served by the new Buda tram links.

Construction was carried out two consortia, with BEM Tram Konzorcium building the longer line along the Danube and Óbuda Tram Konzorcium) rebuilding the connection between Line 17 and lines 4/6 and connected infrastructure improvements. Both consortia were formed by Közgép, Swietelsky, and Strabag. Future extensions of the network are projected to the north from Bécsi út to the new Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) station at Aranyvölgy on the Budapest–Esztergom railway line. To the south, an extension along the Danube is planned from Szent Gellért tér to Infopark.

Budapest buda tram link

Budapest buda tram link2

Photos: BKK

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