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A visit to Debrecen

I visited Debrecen in East-Hungary to see the new home of streetcar number 2964, which was brought back from Amsterdam recently. Since I took part in the process of the "repatriation", I felt I must see it soon after its arrival!

This old thing started its life in Budapest in 1913 as BVVV number 480. BSzKRt renumbered it to 2944, and FVV renumbered it again to 2964 when it was converted to twin-set operation a few decades later.

It was withdrawn in 1980, but it wasn't scrapped. It was first used for movies, then in 1986 it was sold to Amsterdam, where it became a part of the famous heritage tram collection.

Unfortunately it was put aside due to problems, and as problems surfaced with one of the historic associations in Amsterdam, I realised that I have to find a new home for it. Fortunately Debrecen was willing to "adopt" the car, so with a help from fellow tram fans of the association VEKE, they brough the car back to Hungary. Now they want to turn it into a heritage/charter tram, as an almost identical type was once used in the city.

I also took a look at the brand new trolley buses of local electric transit operator DKV. Some of these Solaris/Ganz-Transelektro T12 cars (the 370-series to be precise) have built-in auxiliary power units (diesel engines), so they can run without the overhead wire...

... while others (the 340-series) are "normal" trolley buses.

The "two-way" trolleys are used on the route 3E that features a longer section without overhead wires...

... but they can be observed on the "normal" trolley routes 2 and 3 aswell.

The old ZIU-9 type is likely to be withdrawn soon.

Okay, now let's get back to the trams!

The city's only remaining tram route (until 1975 there used to be more), line 1 was cut in two due to the European Biathlon Championship which took place around the Great Church (Nagytemplom), seen in the background. The short section between the main railway station (Nagyállomás) and Kossuth utca was served by "Bengáli" number 486...

... and Ganz-Hunslet articulated tramcar number 503.

The other "half" (between Hunyadi János utca and Nagyerdő) featured a one-track section between Hunyadi János utca and Füredi út.

Bengáli number 488 stood on the other track as reserve.

The trams running on the "wrong side" on the one-track section had their emergency warning lights on.

Number 505 going the "right way".

The "wrong-way" trams returned to their proper side via the crossover near Füredi út, but the trams coming the other direction have had to wait for them.

Okay, here goes two tracks..!

Number 505 with the end of Nagyerdő ("Great Forest") in the background.

I love the section running along the public baths in Nagyerdő, which is a nice picnic area itself!

Unfortunately the weather turned a bit nasty, as you can see on the clouds in the background...

The tram line runs a circle around the center of Nagyerdő, passing by universities and clinics.

This is also where the trolley bus route 3E runs without overhead wire.

The "cordless" trolleybus running along the tramline.

I end this "pictorial" with another shot of Bengali number 486.

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

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