Hungary - General Information

From EGTRE
Jump to: navigation, search

Country Name

Hungary (Magyarország)

National Railway System

Magyar Államvasutak Részvénytársaság (Hungarian State Railways) (MÁV Zrt).

National Railway Operator

In July 2007 most of the passenger operations of MÀV were transferred to a subsidiary company MÀV-Start, although the narrow gauge services remained with the parent company.

Language

Hungarian (Magyar). The Hungarian language is not related to any Western European language (it is a distant relative of Finnish and Estonian, however) and many words will be unfamiliar to visitors, even those with some knowledge of other languages. Many Hungarians speak English or German.

Currency

Forint.

UIC codes

  • numeric: 55; alpha: MAV
  • numeric: 43; alpha: GySEV/ROeEE

Timetable

Journey Planner

elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll/xslms

Downloadable Timetable

  • Domestic timetables: the Belföldi utazás web page gives access to the current and old (Archívum) timetables; click Menetrendek under the Menü tab.
  • International timetables: the Nemzetközi utazás web page gives access to the current timetables; click Menetrendek under the Menü tab.

Note that all the above pages are in Magyar (Hungarian) only.

Printed Timetable

Vasúti Menetrend or simply Menetrend, published annually which was still produced for 2015/16. This includes introductory material (including explanation of abbreviations) in English, French, German and Russian, and contains details of all MÁV, MÀV-START, GySEV/Raaberbahn, HÉV and Állami Erdei Vasutak (ÁEV) services, plus shipping services on Lake Balaton and some bus and tram information for Budapest. The timetable is available at ticket offices. A fold-out route map shows principal stations.

Additional Notes on reading the Timetable

Translation of some non-standard timetable symbols, comprising a white symbol in a black square, which appear in both the downloadable and printed timetables.:

  • O = kűlőn rendeletre - when advertised
  • 4 Monday to Thursday (not to be confused with a 4 in a circle, which denotes a Thursday)
  • 6 Saturdays and holidays (not to be confused with a 6 in a circle, which denotes a Saturday)
  • 25 Except Fridays
  • 27 Except Sundays

Translation of some timetable notes which may not be obvious:

  • -ig - until or to
  • -től - from
  • kőzlekedik - runs
  • naponta - daily
  • nem kőzlekedik - does not run
  • Az ev vegi... : refers to trains not running at Christmas and New Year.
  • Az iskolai... : refers to trains which run during school terms.
  • A nyari... : refers to dates of summer timetable

Engineering Information

See the MAV website. The page lists engineering information by timetable table number. A useful map giving an overview of engineering work is available at www.kapella.hu.

Bus Information

The English language version of the Volan website may be found at Volan

EU residents aged over 65 may travel free on urban and long-distance buses on providing proof of age.

Maps

Printed Maps

  • The "Magyarország Vasúti Árufuvarozási Térképe", is a map of the Hungarian railway system at a scale of approximately 1:465,000, with enlargements of congested areas. It is not known if this map is still available for purchase
  • European Railway Atlas: Scandinavia and Eastern Europe by M.G. Ball (1993) (ISBN 0-7110-2072-4)
  • European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)

Web-based Maps

Ticketing

MÁV does not offer any network tickets other than an annual pass for all lines. However, EU residents aged over 65 may travel free in second class on all domestic services, but need to have proof of age and to pay any supplements on IC/EC and fast (szebes or gyors) trains (and equivalent buses); these are distance related.

Railway tickets used to be issued for specified distances, rather than to particular destinations, which gave a certain flexibility. These days all stations with computerised ticket machines, as well as conductors, issue tickets to specific destinations. Only minor stations now issue distance tickets.

A 24 hour Budapest network ticket is available, valid on all lines (including MAV) within the city boundary.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure Authority

MÁV Zrt and GYSEV Zrt have the role of Infrastructure Managers. Because they operate the railway network as integrated, non-independent companies, the Vasúti Pályakapacitáselosztó Korlátolt Felelısségő Társaság (Rail Capacity Allocation Office Limited Liability Company) (VPE) has been set up.

Network Statement

The Network Statement 2018-2019 is available on the VPE (Rail Capacity Allocation Office) site. Only only one zip file is available for download in December 2017, previous years' Network Statements pages contain links to a number of separately downloadable files.

Gauge

Standard. There is one remaining MÁV narrow gauge (760mm) system: Balatonfenyves - Somogyszentpál. ÁEV lines are narrow gauge. There were two 1520mm (Russian) gauge lines linking Hungary with Ukraine: Záhony - Eperjeske-Rendező - Batyevo remains in use for freight to substantial Záhony transfer Depots but between Záhony - Chop the broad gauge tracks are disconnected although interlaced rails remain in use by the standard gauge passenger trains.

Electrification

The main line system is 25 kV 50 Hz. See below for Budapest local lines.

Rule of the road

Generally right, although there is much reversible working. Budapest Keleti to Budapest Kelenföld to Budapest Déli and Rákos to Budapest Keleti have left hand running.

Distances

No source is known other than the timetables. The Network Statement does not appear to give comprehensive distance information.

Other Railways

Numbers preceding entries refer to timetable numbers.

GySEV (Györ-Sopron-Ebenfurti Vasút)

Owned jointly by the Hungarian and Austrian governments with a small minority of other shareholders. Raaberbahn in German, as Raab is the German name for Györ.

  • 8 Győr - Sopron
  • 9 Fertőszentmiklós - Pamhagen
  • 15 Sopron - Szombathely
  • 21 Szombathely - Szentgotthárd

HÉV (Helyiérdekű Vasút)

Standard-gauge local lines round Budapest, electrified at 1000 V dc overhead. National rail operator MÁV took over operation of these Budapest suburban lines on November 24 2016. MÁV have set up a new subsidiary BHÉV which is responsible for operating all HÉV lines, with funding from central government and Budapest municipality to cover operational expenditure. MÁV has also taken over ownership of the infrastructure from BKV:

  • 250 [Budapest] Batthyány tér - Szentendre
  • 251 [Budapest] Boráros tér - Csepel
  • 252 [Budapest] Vágóhid - Ráckeve
  • 253 [Budapest] Örs vezér tér - Csömör/Gödöllő végállomás

The status of the BKV operated rack railway and funicular was not mentioned in the Press article seen, any information on this would be appreciated by the Compilers.

ÁEV (State Forestry Railways)

These lines were all once used for forestry traffic; except where noted, only passenger services now operate. Mostly these are for the benefit of tourists although in a few cases some local traffic is carried. Services run daily or, in most cases, on certain days only during the summer. All are 760 mm gauge, except the one marked § which is 600 mm.

  • 305 Lenti - Csömödér - Kistolmács (also has extensive branches which only carry forestry traffic)
  • 307 Szenta - Kaszó
  • 308 Almamellék - Sasrét §
  • 310 Pörböly - Gemenc - Bárányfok (also carries forestry traffic)
  • 321 Felsőtárkány-Fütőház - Stimeczház
  • 323 Szilvásvárad: Szalajka-Fatalep - Szalajka-Fátyolvizesés
  • 324/5 Gyöngyös - Mátrafüred/Lajosháza
  • 330 Miskolc-Dorottya Utca - Papírgyár - Lillafüred - Garadna
  • 331 Miskolc - Papírgyár - Mahóca
  • 332 Pálháza - Rostalló

Tourist lines

Numbers preceding entries refer to timetable numbers.

  • 7 Gyermekvasút (Budapest Children's Railway, formerly a pioneer railway): Széchenyihegy - Hüvösvölgy (760 mm gauge)
  • 8a Nagycenk Steam Centre (GySEV): Fertöboz - Barátság - Kastély (760 mm gauge)
  • 311 Mesztegnyő - Felsőkak (760 mm gauge, formerly an ÁEV line)
  • 317 Kismaros - Királyrét (760 mm gauge, formerly an ÁEV line) [this line also offers rail cycling]
  • 318a Szob - Márianozstra (760 mm gauge, formerly an ÁEV line)
  • 318 Nagyirtás - Nagybőrzsőny (760 mm gauge)
  • 319 Kemence Muzeum - Feketevölgy (600 mm gauge)
  • 333 Debrecen-Fatelep - Hármashegyalja (760 mm gauge, formerly an ÁEV line)
  • Debrecen Vidam Park (760 mm gauge)
  • Pécs Kulturpark (Children's Railway): Állatkert (Zoo) - Dömörkapu (760 mm gauge)
  • Szentendre Open Air Museum (Skanzen Railway) (standard gauge)

Also see ÁEV lines listed in previous section.

The narrowgauge.hu/kisvasut.hu site provides useful information on narrow gauge lines, including some ÁEV lines.

Metro

Budapest

Trams

Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged.

Recent and Future Changes

The Hegyeshalom - Rajka MÁV - Rusovce ŽSR Bratislava-Petržalka cross border line reopened to passengers from the December 2017 timetable change with a five pair passenger service operated by GySEV, after no service since 30 September 2010 and the last running of the overnight 'Amicus' service between Budapest and Prague.

Szombathely - Zalaszentiván electrification was completed on 7 December 2016 and onwards to Nagykanizsa is planned with EU funding approved.

Budapest to Esztergom is now electrified, changeover to electric traction was from 9 April 2018.

A train-tram project is proposed around Szeged which would as part of the plans link the lines currently terminating on either side of the River here.

Work was due to start in December 2015 on a major rebuilding of the Budapest - Beograd (Serbia) main line, due to be completed in June 2017.

The cross border service from Szeged via Röszke to Subotica (Serbia) was suspended due to the Refugee situation from 27 October 2015 and formally withdrawn with the December 2016 Timetable date.

The cross border service from Magyarboly - Beli Manastir (Croatia) was suspended in January 2016 owing to the migrant crisis and formally withdrawn at the December 2016 Timetable change.

The last section of table 89, Tiszaújváros – Tiszapalkonya-Erőmű, closed at the timetable change in December 2013.

With effect from 16 April 2012 around 400 trains were cancelled, which resulted in a number of lightly used lines having their services reduced to 2 round trips per day. For details see the Sparse Services section.

In May 2010 a general election resulted in a change of government. One of the new ruling party's pledges was to re-open lines closed in December 2009 by the previous administration where it was practical to do so, given that in some cases infrastructure had already been removed or disabled. The first batch of re-openings occurred on 5 July 2010, the lines concerned being:

  • 5 Komárom - Széksefehérvár (official opening with special train was on 4 July)
  • 14 Pápa - Csorna
  • 103 Karcag - Tiszafüred
  • 142 Kecskemét - Lajosmizse

It should be noted that Line 14 had been closed in March 2007.

A further 6 lines re-opened on 12 December 2010

  • 4 Esztergom - Almásfüzitő
  • 45 Börgönd - Sárbogárd
  • 47 Godisa - Komló
  • 98 Abaújszántó-Hidasnémeti
  • 113 Fehérgyarmat - Zajta
  • 114 Kocsord alsó - Csenger

In April 2009 it was reported that MÀV-START would have to reduce the number of passenger trains operated by 50%, and that many secondary lines could, as a result, suffer, with changes being implemented in August or December 2009. In August it was announced that up to 1,874 km of lines could close in December 2009. After a number of different lists were published, in the event the following standard gauge lines closed on 12 December 2009:

  • 4 Esztergom - Almásfüzitő
  • 5 Skékesfehérvár - Komárom
  • 22 Körmend - Zalalövő
  • 37 Somogyszob - Balatonszentgyörgy
  • 42 Mezöfalva - Paks
  • 45 Börgönd - Sárbogárd
  • 47 Godisa - Komló
  • 64 Pécs - Pécsvárad
  • 77 Galgamácsa - Vácrátót
  • 87 Szilvásvárad - Putnok
  • 98 Abaújszántó-Hidasnémeti
  • 103 Karcag - Tiszafüred
  • 107 Sárand - Létavértes
  • 113 Fehérgyarmat - Zajta
  • 114 Kocsord alsó - Csenger
  • 117 Ohat-Pusztakócs - Tiszalök
  • 126 Kisszénás-Kondoros
  • 127 Vésztő-Körösnagyharsány
  • 130 Makó-Hódmezővásárhely
  • 142 Lajosmizse - Kecskemét

The following narrow gauge lines also closed:

  • 118 Nyiregyháza - Balsa-Tiszaport (see also note below)
  • 119 Herminatanya - Dombrád (see also note below)
  • 148 Kecskemét KK - Kiskörös KK
  • 149 Kecskemét KK - Törökfái Kiskunmajsa KK

Line 39, Balatonfenyves GV.-Somogyszentpál, was also on the list but was reprieved because the local authority expressed interest in taking it over.

The cross-border route from Bánréve to Lenartovce in Slovakia closed to passenger services on 12 December 2009.

The limited cross border service from Komárom to Komarno in Slovakia closed in December 2008. It had previously closed in 2004, and had only re-opened in December 2007. The cross border service from Sátoraljaújhely to Slovenské Nové Mesto in Slovakia also closed in December 2008. On 17 September 2009 services over part of 118 and the whole of 119 were replaced by buses, leaving narrow-gauge services operating only between Nyíregyháza and Herminatanya.

In previous years, although the future of branch and rural lines had been increasingly uncertain over the decade since the Communist political and economic era of central control was replaced by democratic governments, there had been few passenger service closures. Mátramindszent to Mátranovák Homoktereneye (table 83) closed about 1993, the remaining section of table 49, from Lepsény to Mezőhídvég, lost its passenger service officially from 28 May 2000, the section of table 12 from Tatabánya to Felsögalla closed in June 2001.

Bus substitution due to a combination of neglected track maintenance, circuitous routes and poorly located stations closed Keszőhidegkút-Gyönk - Tamási (48) and Tamási - Dombóvár (southern part of 49) by 1991; extended to the remainder of 49 (Mezőhídvég – Tamási) by 1995, then Lepsény - Mezőhídvég following storm damage on 22 July 1999, between Pécsvárad - Palotabozsok (central section of 64) from 1 June 1997, followed by the northern section onwards to Bátaszék where trains did not resume after bus substitution in Spring/Summer 2003 due to axle problems on BzMot railbuses. In 2006, there have been two condition of track closures, Nógrádszakál to Ipolytamóc (Part 78) for a few months from 1 July 2006 following flood damage (now resumed but one of the threatened 28 lines) and Sellye and Középrigóc (part 62) which was bus substituted from 8 May 2006.

An unexpected closure at the 2005 December timetable change was the terminal station Budapest Józsefváros, with local services diverted to Keleti and the few long distance services from Kelebia re-routed via curve HU07/2 to Köbánya-Kispest.

At its session on 5 July 2006, the Hungarian parliament committed to a thorough reform of national passenger transport, affecting both MÁV and the bus operator Volán (to the extent that competition between the two will be replaced by an integrated policy). A budget of HUF 50-80 Bn was to be made available each year for modernisation of the rail network, including network upgrading, development of suburban rail, station reconstruction, passenger coach refurbishment etc and MÁV Cargo was to be sold off. As part of this package it was announced that passenger traffic would be withdrawn on 28 lines, totalling 942 km or 12.2% of the network as they apparently account for just 1% of passenger revenues. Officially the traffic was to be suspended, but in fact the lines were put up for closure.

The original intention was for the closures to occur by the December 2006 timetable change, but the well publicised Political disputes contributed towards delays. An official list was then announced on 8 December 2006 of 14 lines where passenger services were to be suspended by the end of February 2007. In the event the following lines closed on 3 March 2007:-

  • 13 Környe - Pápa
  • 14 Pápa - Csorna
  • 24 Zalabér-Batyk - Zalaszentgrót
  • 27 Lepsény - Hajmáskér
  • 62 Sellye - Villány
  • 76 Diósjenő - Romhány
  • 84 Kisterenye - Kál-Kápolna
  • 88 Mezőcsát - Nyékládháza
  • 95 Kazincbarcika - Rudabánya
  • 112 Nagykálló - Nyíradony
  • 129 Murony - Békés
  • 151 Kunszentmiklós-Tass - Dunapataj
  • 152 Fülöpszállás - Kecskemát alsó
  • 153 Kiskőrös - Kalocsa

Lines 88, 112 and 129 closed completely, and the other remained partially or fully open for freight. The 8 December 2006 announcement originally included line 22, but one day later it was announced this was subject to further review.

Several short curves have also ceased to see passenger use: the Bánréve avoiding curve [now lifted], the Hatvan avoiding curve (Tura - Jászfényszaru, was used only for one year), the Szolnok avoiding curve to the Hatvan line and the Dorog - Tokod link avoiding Esztergom-Kertváros which was used for two years until 1 June 1997 by certain Budapest - Bratislava services to reduce pressure on main lines being upgraded.

After a slow-down, work resumed on several electrification projects with completed routes Felsözsolca - Hidasnémeti - Čaňa (Slovakia) [25 February 1998], Balatonszentgyörgy - Nagykanizsa - Murakeresztúr [27 September 1998], Rákospalota - Vácrátót [January 1999], Gyékényes - Koprivnica (Croatia), Székesfehérvár - Várpalota [26 September 1999 and onwards to Szombathely by the end of September 2000] and Sopron to Szombathely by GySEV after they took over operations in 2002. Electrification of Boba to Hodos was completed in 2010, and GySEV is also electrifying Szombathely to Szentgotthárd.

Longer term electrification plans have been identified by MÁV as follows: Györ - Celldömölk (10); Szerencs – Sátoraljaújhely (80); Püspükladány - Biharkereszles - (Romania) (101); Kőbánya-Kispest - Lajosmizse (142).

GySEV intends to take over several lines from MÁV, which might bring more electrification, such as Hegyeshalom – Nagykanizsa.

The project to electrify at 25kV 50Hz to Deutschkreutz ÖBB, whilst mainly to benefit ÖBB and GySEV, involves MÁV-owned track between Sopron and the Austrian border via Harka, and was completed in the summer of 2000.

The Magyarbóly - Beli Manastir (Croatia) - Osijek cross-border line reopened 3 September 1997. The cross-border link to Slovenia, avoiding transit through Croatia, (Zalalövö - Murska Sobota) was reported to have been completed in December 2000, and was opened officially on 2 March 2001. This route now carries through international services and is being upgraded on the Hungarian side including a new alignment east of Zalalövő opened some time in 2005/06 with further significant cut-offs nearer Zalaegerzeg being opened in mid-2009.

There have been a number of improvements to cross border services with Austria after joining the European Union, for example Wien to Pécs via Sopron, Gyékényes and Dombóvár Alsó and through trains from Szombathely to Graz.

In late 2010 GySEV announced plans for a large scale development of Gyor - Sopron, apparently the most heavily used line in Hungary. The intention is to double the line and, more significantly, divert lines either side of Sopron. East of Sopron, the line will be moved alongside the Szombathely line north of Harka (Kophaza) to free up land and ease curves. West of Sopron, the plan is to move the Ebenfurth line alongside the Wiener Neustadt line as far as Sopron Deli, mainly to allow closure of some busy level crossings.

The Tiszakecse Gyermekvasút: Sportliget - Tiszapark (760 mm gauge) railway closed 'temporarily' in 2008 but is reported as unlikely to re-open

Special notes

See also