Budapest: VEKE-tour 2002

Since many of my photos have been deleted from one of the Internet servers, visitors from various parts of the World claimed photos of Hungarian trams, obviously. To fill this missing part of my homepage, I decided to show pictures of tours around the town which I have participated on, this is the best way to present as much of the Budapest tram system as I can. One of the tours was organized by members of VEKE (Urban and Suburban Traffic Association which is a group of fans of public transport) on the 28th July 2002. Let's see these pictures!

The first two of the new low-floor trolley-bus series went into service the day before on line 70, so heading for Bosnyák tér I met one of the type Ikarus IK 412T.

Rally at Bosnyák tér, in the former station of the late tramway line 44, which service is only suspended, officially. From here we leave towards the loop at Rákospatak.

And we have done it three times after another on the former route of line 44 because there were many who haven't arrived on time.

Our tram is the UV type train of the cars no. 3880-3885. Just like last year, we equipped them again with the most kinds of route shields, with different line number shields.

Let's get it on, on today's line 3: we're on Liget tér.

The next photostop occured at the delta tracks at Határ út, the delta of lines 3 resp. 52.

But before we go to Gubacsi út to reach the more interesting parts of the network, we take a detour into the loop in Pesterzsébet, which is a real small-townish location with single track tramway lines in small one-way streets. Just in case, we have a number shield for the late line 31, of course. Today we take the "Small Loop": en route Török Flóris utca - Nagysándor József utca - Jókai utca.

Next is Gubacsi út, and line 30, today's worst quality track of the network.

We have reached the Mester utca - Haller utca corner, which was going to be rebuilt a year after. At this time the only possibility to turn to Közvágóhíd terminus was to cross the street (Haller utca), and to reverse back onto it...

...and by another change of direction we crossed the junction again (this time Mester utca) and left westwards. The speciality of the late Haller utca tramway tracks were that they remained on the two sides of the wide street, as the last of this kind in town. It has ended by the wall-to-wall reconstruction of the street, the tracks are rebuilt in the middle.

Közvágóhíd, gathering for a tableau photo.

This is the terminus of the tramway lines 2 and 24 resp. the local railways (HÉV) to Ráckeve nearby. There are the articulated motor cars type ICS or CSMG built by GANZ which come here...

...or their modernized version rebuilt in 1997-98, type KCSV7.

We leave towards the eastern Duna- (Danube-) bank line, no. 2.

And here we are at the northern part of the line, at the Kossuth tér - Szalay utca corner, with the Parliament dome in the background.

Our driver (and friend) has completed all of today's tramway routes of Budapest with this line. We're waiting at the Jászai Mari tér terminus for the scheduled car type KCSV7, no. 1356 to leave, then we're going to chase it to have time for photostops.

The next one is at the southern portal of the Lánchíd (Chain Bridge) tunnel.

Going back again on the Haller utca - Mester utca route, then we take a left turn on the Könyves Kálmán körút (Boulevard), on the former line 23, today's line 1. We're at Népliget, on my right is an infamous football stadium. The tracks had been built originally with bedding (ballast), but the new tracks (the dead-end track in the middle for the shorter line 1A) have been built with asphalt cover, while a few meters later the grails have been simply asphalted, because the primitive football fans (hooligans) used the grails to fight the opponent team's fans.

Independent tracks at the stop Hős utca, filled with the sand spit out by the usual Tatra tramcars. So much for stylistics: low-design rain-cover of the eighties, modern looking light-alloy barriers, and wooden seating decorated by oldish hammered-iron arm-rests. Total chaos. :-))

Forward on line 1: the road on the Hungária körút overpass is under reconstruction, the tramline is still in service. Although the mayor's office wanted to miss out the tramway tracks of the reconstruction of the bridge, at last they decided to do the tram, too. It was a few days later of our journey, at that time line 1 was cut in two sections with bus shuttle between them. But now let's get back to our story!

Turning right on Lehel utca, line 14. These two lines are where the T5C5 Tatra cars are going in a triple traction. We're at Rokolya utca stop.

Going along the only remaining line of Újpest district. Our tram passes the maternity hospital where I was born in Görgey Artúr utca (now I know where is this tramway fanatism of mine came from :-)) ), then we turn on a really special track, norther of the Rákospalota-Újpest railway station.

The rails are fixed on large concrete plates, the track was originally built to accomodate the Metro line M3 to the Káposztásmegyer housing estates. Until then, the tracks are being used by the tramline 14. Here, where the two tracks divide, a station for the Metro has been planned. Another tram on line 14 is coming from North.

We reach the terminus at Megyeri út, the northernmost point of the Budapest tramway network of all times.

We are waiting for the normal duty cars again, meanwhile having a "constitutional rest" for the tired passengers. :-))

UV tram on the northest possible point. While the route shield says: "going to Zugló depot", we are far from going back "home"!

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Text and photos by András Báti, except where otherwise mentioned (C) 2002-2004

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