Electrification takes over from diesel operation in Budapest

ELECTRIC operation of the line from Budapest to Esztergom began on April 9, with trains operated by MÁV-Start Class 415 ‘Flirt’ EMUs.

The start of electric operation enabled MÁV-Start to cascade the ‘Desiro Classic’ DMUs – previously used for Esztergom services – to the Budapest Nyugati to Lajosmizse line, which is now the only non-electrified line in the Budapest area.

The Budapest Nyugati to Lajosmizse line crosses the Budapest tram system on a flat crossing, just outside Kispest station. Loco No. 418 157 is seen going over the tram tracks on February 7 with a service to Lajosmizse. KEITH FENDER

Prior to the arrival of DMUs the line operated with MÁV-Start Class 418 (formerly ‘M41’) locos and coaches.

Ganz, in Budapest, built 114 type ‘M41’ diesel-hydraulic locos between 1972 and 1984 for Hungarian operators MAV and GySEV, although all the GySEV examples transferred to MAV in 1987. Ganz also built export versions for Greece and Tunisia.

Most of the MÁV-Start locos remain in service, with 35 having been rebuilt with modern Caterpillar engines.

MÁV-Start continues to use Class 418 for passenger services on non-electrified routes, especially from Debrecen and Miskolc, in the east of the country, and from Györ in the west of Hungary.

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