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"Lost rails" of Budapest: route 64
(Bosnyák tér-Füredi utca)

Today's route 3 (Mexikói út - Gubacsi út) is an important component of the traffic system of the Pest "inner suburb" belt, but it wasn't always so. Nagy Lajos király útja, where it runs along with route 62 only had a small bit of trams originally. In those days, the big communist-type housing areas were not yet invented (or at least not known here), and Zugló was more of a bungalow/villa type of area, with mansions on the inner parts.

In 1933, the company BSzKRt has built a relatively short (about 2 kilometers) one-track side-line penetrating this area, thus connecting it to the busy tram routes running on Thököly út (and further to Rákóczi út).

The line started right in front of the still existing Zugló tram depot, went along today's Nagy Lajos király útja (then called Hajtsár út) for a while, then turned onto Egressy út, where now trolley bus route 77 runs, and ended after another turn in Vezér utca. Journey time was short, and the inhibitants of this area reached one of the most important traffic axles of Budapest (where they now want to build the subway line M4 replacing the already paused Thököly út tram services) with just one change.

This tram service was called route 68.

To the left: track scheme from 1933. You can see the passing loop of the one-track line
To the right: a more detailed map of the area. You can see that there's no tram outside of Bosnyák tér, where later route 44 ran, and no tram to north-west either, where now route 3 and 62 runs.

The route number "64" was used here since 1955, when the one-track section of route 68 received the second track. The line was also extended to Füredi utca via Vezér utca, with a passing loop at Fogarasi út. Next year tram 64 was extended to Keleti pályaudvar via Thököly út, but after just one year, that change was cancelled.

Route 68 stayed for a while: first it serviced the section between Bosnyák tér and Mogyoródi út. Then, after route 64 was cut back to its original terminus at Bosnyák tér in 1957, the service was extended to Március 15 tér via Thököly út and Rákóczi út. In 1960, when the section in Nagy Lajos király útja was extended to Örs vezér tere, the line was rerouted to there. Its route number dissapeared in the mid-seventies.

Although during the years of its operation big high-rise housing estates emerged along route 64, it was considered out-dated, and in the second wave of the "trolley bus sweep", it was appointed for replacement. The tram was closed on 20. October 1979, and the trolley bus route 82 (running on a different path) started on 3. January 1980.

On this photo we can see number 1520, the prototype of the F1A series in front of tram depot Zugló at Bosnyák tér. As you can see, nothing has changed here. Interestingly, this streetcar received a steel-frame body in 1972, and is still in service in Szeged as works car SZ5. Even more interestingly, the ex-Hannover TW6000's, which we see on the right-hand edge of the second picture, were numbered into the 1500-series upon their arrival, so not even the fleet numbers of the trams have changed here!

The terminus of route 64 did not have an own track: passengers alighted at the stop on the "live" line, and then the tram (here a Bengáli "two-rooms-and-a-bath" articulated car) reversed over the crossover, and headed for the other terminus.

Two utterly wonderful pictures of Bosnyák tér from the early seventies, taken by Mr. Alan Murray-Rust.

The line turned onto Egressy út at Egressy tér.

Photo: Sándor Ambrus

The "straight-heading" section in Nagy Lajos király útja turned the curve to Egressy út into a turnout. Today only the straight tracks (where the TW6000 stands on the photo to the right) exist, but the old overhead support poles are still standing.

In Egressy út the location of the tracks is still there, without any new usage.

Photo: Sándor Ambrus

Or is the usage as a spontaneous parking lot a real usage?

Photo: Sándor Ambrus

The corner of Egressy út and Vezér utca, where the tram turned from the previous onto the latter.

Photo: Sándor Ambrus

Oops, that waiting booth was at the wrong place :)

The original terminus at Mogyoródi út, where the two-track section ended, had a small booth.

A detoured tram 62 with a UV triple-set next to the booth. Some of the old overhead support posts are still standing.

From here on the route had only one track, with a passing loop at Fogarasi út.

Photo: György Szabó

The passing loop back in the seventies, and its place now. Depressing, I would say!

Tram 64 reaching the high-rise housing area. As you can see, the location of the tracks lays waste.

The stub terminus at Füredi utca back when it was still in use, and now. The small building, where they sold tickets, and where the drivers had their pauses, is still there.

Photo: Dezső Végh

An older photo, with a mid-entrance twin-set waiting for departure.

Photo: Sándor Ambrus

The Füredi utca terminus again - then and now. Not many new things to see, apart from the recycle bins of the selective refuse collecting system. Sad, that a tram route of old days now ends in a dustbin - literally!

And that was it. Thanks for taking time and visiting this "lost tram route" of Budapest!

Present photos: Ákos Endre Varga
Archive photos and maps: Sándor Ambrus, Tim Boric, Heinz Heider, Alan Murray-Rust, Harald Schachenhofer, György Szabó, Dezső Végh, the collections of Zsolt Nagy, Zoltán Ádám Németh, Gábor Szelényi and Ákos Endre Varga

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

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