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Kamaraerdő, Kőérberek - and of course UVs
The outer end of Budapest's tram route 41

At the moment of this writing it still seems that 2007 will be the last year of the UV tramcar in regular traffic. What's not sure anymore is that route 41 will be the last harbour for this type. A year ago we took this for granted, but now... who knows?

Anyway, with the fall of the Small Boulevard (being closed for metro construction works for route 47, with route 49 having been converted to Ganz articulated tram operation), route 41 is still the place to see and feel the UV. Yes, even in their current - rather sad - state: they don't seem to get much maintenance anymore, so the overall picture is not very grand, yet, on route 41 with its unwelded tracks from the sixties you don't really mind this. And while patronage on this service is clearly higher than say five or ten years ago, I sometimes still see this place as the "tram-freak line". That's why I went there so many times in late 2006/early 2007: to capture the mood. Hopefully this mood will come through the pictures and short movies.

If you alight at the new stop Kőérberek, and go forward, about halfway to the next stop Fülőke utca, you will clearly recognize this used to be an interurban railway (HÉV) line.

The terminus Kamaraerdő has a different mood: it's like the end of civilisation. Of course it's only the end of Budapest - that's why the former interurban/suburban line was cut here. And this is about the only place where the name "erdő" - forest - seems just. Of course you don't really see this in the movie above, but you might still feel the "forest railway" qualities, with the UV appearing out of nowhere to access the third - reserve - track.

Public lighting only brings small stripes of light into the dark here, ...

... which looks rather cool when the tram moves :)

The stop Kőérberek, which we mentioned earlier, was built for a housing estate nearby a few years ago. This place used to be a reed, now it's the vanguard of the city.

The brook running here was barred into a small lake. If  you walk over the bridge, this is how you see the inbound and outbound trams meet.

Lakeside tram stop.

To give this page a different pace, let's get back to the terminus Kamaraerdő. This UV double-set leaves the reserve track to get to the boarding aisle of the terminus.

I don't like to blow my own trumpet, but I'm really proud of this photo!

Half of this set has flourescent lights, half light bulbs.

A purposely overexposed photo so that we can see some of the environment.

More playing with light...

... and darkness.

The headlight of a UV making a bright streak into the hazy night.

Light-dark-light-dark-light-dark :)

Another UV waiting on the third track.

And if you got tired of the darkness, here's a bright photo taken in the sunset at Fülőke utca.

And here's another. This vicinity is uncared-for, but let's pretend we don't see the awry tram stop sign and other signs of this.

Another bit of civilisation creeping in: a week before this photo was taken, the spot of the asphalt strip was still a scrub.

One piece of rail is from 1978, the other from 1963. The concrete tie seems to be newer though.

This stray cat does not belong to the tram line, but she was sitting there as if she was guarding the tracks, so I have had to take a photo of her :)

And to close this page, another moment of gloaming.

I hope you liked this virtual tour of the outer end of route 41. I wanted to show this, because this "wild" section is changing the fastest: the inner parts - the outskirt-ish Fehérvári út and the rural Ady Endre út - seem to retain their identities, but who knows what Kőérberek and Kamaraerdő will look like in 20 years time...

© Ákos Endre VARGA, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.

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