January 01, 2014

Debrecen Line 2 set for March opening

Written by  Ferenc Joo
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THE official opening date for the second tram line in Hungary's second-largest city Debrecen has been set for March 1 following the start of test operation last month.

Debrecen, a city of 200,000 inhabitants, historically had 7 tram lines but by 1975 all but one had closed.

Line 1 connects the main railway station with the campus and recreational area while passing through the main street of Debrecen. High traffic levels on bus lines serving residential areas to the west of line 1 justified the construction of a second 7.3km branch of the tram line.

Line 2 will branch off line 1 at Debrecen Plaza and vaguely follow the route of bus line 31, making a large single track loop at the northern end. The outer terminus of the line will be Doberdó utca.

The €67m cost of construction has been financed almost entirely by the EU, with additional costs of €13m for adjoining road construction and exchange rate losses financed by the Hungarian government.

The project includes 18 new Urbos low-floor LRVs, which were ordered from CAF in 2011. The five-section 32.5m-long air-conditioned vehicles will accommodate up to 221 passengers.

The handover and approval process for Line 2 started on 20 December 2013 but the first tram ran along the length of the completed route on December 4.

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