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Midnight run - on more than 2 kilometers of Combino trams!

As a special way of self-advertisement, the BKV turned all their Combino low-floor trams into one big running track on the night from 13 to 14 July. That's forty 54-meter-long trams - which is quite something! Of course they did not let all these trams queue up on one track: they were aligned alternating on the two tracks of the Grand Boulevard. Runners of the BKV's own sport club ran through these cars in a zigzagging manner: they ran through one car, alighted via the last door, hopped to the next tram standing on the other track, boarded it via the first door, ran through it, alighted via the last door, hopped to the next tram... well, I think you got the idea.

The event was a must for tram enthusiasts. Where else can you see so many modern trams at once?

Normally the trams of Grand Boulevard lines 4 and 6 leave their route at half past eleven, but this night they remained in service for a while.

And what's more: the Combinos sleeping in the remise joined them one after another! All forty trams had numbers showing their position in the "chain", so the arrivals from the depot were synchronised with the timetable of the "active" ones.

As an interesting break from the Combinos, the single Ganz articulated cars of route 2 were leaving the Grand Boulevard via the same connecting track at Blaha Lujza tér. Normally they would have nothing to do here, but now route 2 is cut into halves at Fővám tér, so this is how they can get back to their remise.

Most photographers chose the flyover bridge at Nyugati tér as their monitoring platform. Above: two pictures taken while looking towards Jászai Mari tér.

And now two more, looking to the other direction. Due to the ring-shape of the Grand Boulevard, it was impossible to see all 40 Combinos at the same time.

We started to walk towards Oktogon.

It was indeed an exciting sight! We reached Király utca when the first runners arrived. To avoid a jam inside the trams, they were starting one after another, of course :)

By the time we got to Wesselényi utca, the race was already over. And while the organisers were evaluating the results at the finish line at Jászai Mari tér, the trams started to head back to their depots. But not all of them: some waited for the start of their service at the termini.

We took a night bus to Jászai Mari tér. From the window of the bus the sight of the queuing trams was still quite magnificent, so I tried to shot a short clip of it. Of course this is just a few hundred meters of the two kilometers...

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

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