HUNGARIAN national operator MÁV-Start has withdrawn a tender for up to 50 BEMUs following recently-announced plans to electrify a number of lines across Hungary as part of the railway’s Sustainability Strategy.

MÁV-Start issued the initial tender for the trains, which included an order for 20 vehicles with an option for another 30, in May 2020. The tender was withdrawn a month later after interested parties raised several issues concerning the technical specifications of the trains. The tender was subsequently relaunched in August 2020.

MÁV says the decision to proceed with electrification means the trains are no longer required. However, some of the projects are scheduled for completion between 2030 and 2050, by which time MÁV’s newest DMUs, Russian-built class 416 and 426 Desiro sets, will be more than 40-years-old. There are currently no plans to purchase new diesel or electric trains, and the extent of network electrification will only reach 50% in 2050.

Six lines are due to be electrified by 2030, with work already underway on some:

  • Zalaszentiván - Nagykanizsa
  • Szabadbattyán - Tapolca - Keszthely
  • Ukk - Tapolca
  • Kőbánya-Kispest - Lajosmizse - Kecskemét
  • Püspökladány - Biharkeresztes, and
  • Szeged - Röszke.

Another nine lines are due to be electrified by 2050:

  • Győr - Celldömölk
  • Fonyód - Kaposvár
  • Komárom - Székesfehérvár - Pusztaszabolcs
  • Börgönd - Szabadbattyán
  • Rétszilas - Bátaszék - Baja - Bácsalmás - Csikéria
  • Hatvan - Salgtarján - Somoskőújfalu
  • Füzesabony - Debrecen
  • (Debrecen) - Apafa - Mátészalka, and
  • Szeged - Békéscsaba - Gyula - Kötegyán.

The BEMUs were expected to initially operate on the Balatonfüred - Tapolca line, following the first phase of electrification, which is due to be completed in June. They were also earmarked for the Szombathely - Pécs and the Hatvan - Somoskőújfalu lines.

While electric services from Szombathely or Győr to Pécs will be available via Tapolca and Fonyód, as well as from Szombathely via Nagykanizsa and Kaposvár to Pécs, there will still be a gap along the route of the existing Szombathely - Pécs InterReégió service as the Gyékényes - Barcs -Szentlőrinc section is not due to be electrified under the current plan.

There will also be a gap in the electrification between Börgönd and Sárbogárd for Győr - Komárom - Székesfehérvár - Pécs services.