EU project revamps regional rail services across Hungary

An EU-funded project has made a significant contribution to the modernisation of Hungary’s rail network. Through the purchase of 42 new multiple unit trains and extensive renovation work along various lines, the project offers Hungarian commuters across the regions increased capacity, greater comfort and better connections throughout the country and beyond.

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A key element of this EU-funded project has been the co-financing of 42 electrically powered trains, which will now be put into public service as part of a revamped regional rail service. In addition to the new fleet of trains, the project has also carried out significant renovations and upgrades to rail infrastructure, including the electrification of some lines.

The ultimate goal is to improve the quality, reliability and predictability of regional rail services across Hungary and help to reduce road traffic. This will lead to less congestion and lower emissions.

Social benefits

In addition to satisfying increasing demands for sustainable forms of mobility, the project has also focused on providing benefits to low income and socially disadvantaged people. Improved cost effective regional rail services – with trains that are designed to cater for the disabled and those with reduced mobility –  will ensure that everyone can travel for work or for pleasure around the country, whatever their situation. For example, customer friendly timetables have been installed along all lines, which can now provide more frequent train services.

The new trains also feature improved levels of service for passengers, including well-arranged, open-plan interiors, low-floors to enable easy boarding and air-conditioning throughout. Audio-visual passenger information systems provide real time information, while passenger areas have been installed with video surveillance to improve on board security. On board toilets are fully accessible to wheelchair users.

The new vehicles have been put into operation along key lines serving suburban and regional traffic. These lines include the connection between Budapest and Esztergom; Budapest and Veresegyház-Vác; Budapest and Vác-Szob; and Budapest and Monor-Cegléd. Automatic ticketing machines will be installed along these lines to reduce infrastructure requirements at these stops.

A ten-year public service contract has now been signed between the Hungarian State and MÁV-START Railway Passenger Co. under which the new vehicles are operated.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Procurement of 42 pieces of multiple unit trains for MÁV-START Co.” is EUR 259 769 928, with the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributing EUR 220 804 439 through the “Transport” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Improving urban and suburban public transport, environment-friendly developments”.


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