A pictorial about THE Budapest tram
"UV": although some say that these two letters stand for "Uj Villamos" (hungarian for "new tram"), in fact it's just a model designation that turned into a kind of brand name. The UV class was designed in the mid-1950's by Ganz, one of the most important technical establishment of Hungary in the ninteenth and twentieth century. The earlier model "T" (3600-series, also known as the "Stuka", named after the german dive-bombers) was used as the basis for the development which was done jointly with the engineers of the Budapest tramway company FVV and the Ministry of Transportation. The first cars were ready by the beginning of 1956. The construction was very simple, lean and inexpensive: the control system was very much like the one used on the mid-entrance multiple units designed by Ganz in 1930-31, the body was very similar to the "Stukas". The first series hit the streets on 2nd of April, 1956 on route 2.
Originally UV's of series 1, 2 and 3 had two driver's
cabs, these were removed in the late 70's as the cars were mostly used
in sets (multiple units), not as single cars. There was no UV4-series,
but there was a modified,
articulated UV built out of two normal cars (they were then separated
again because the contruction proved to be unreliable). Also in the seventies
the streetcars 3400-03 were rebuilt for training purposes into training
vehicle 7660-63. By the early eighties UV's were standardized with just
one driver's cab (seperated from the passenger cabin), and with eletrical
equipment and other bits (new head light, motorized bell instead of the
manual bell on front, rear-view mirror, etc) unified.
Sadly the time of the UV is coming to its end: the first big bunch was scrapped between 1995 and 97, and in 2001-02 another group of these (still operable) motorcars got wasted. A few of these were either sold or donated for other usage (3871 as a buffet, 3262 and 3827 as an educational tool), and a few are reserved for the Museum of Transport and BKV's own museum (3200, 3257 and 3899), but in general I expect them to disappear in about five years. It would be nice to see them in tram museums around the world too!
The table below shows the current status of the UV rolling stock. Most of the photos there were taken by me, but some not: on our joint tramspotting walks, my very good friend Mr. Ákos Baracsy used to do the filming, as his camera was better than mine. There are also a few pictures taken by Mr. Mátyás Kónya. I started this collection in 1999, so I don't have pictures of the cars scrapped before that - those were taken by Heinz Heider, whom I would like to thank for providing me with all his wonderful photos!
But before I show you the table, here
are some current events that had something to do with the UV:
Legend: "S" is for surplus, "MUV" for Modernised UV (these were 20 cars with new driver's cabs and different interior). Light grey background: preserved/still existing withdrawn car; yellow background: still in service; pink background: modification to training vehicle; light cyan background: modification to MUV.
The hyperlinks will take you to a thumbnail picture of the respective car. These thumbnails are grouped together on five pages which are quite big so it might take some time to load them all - please be patient! If you click on the thumbnails, you'll see a bigger image of the vehicle.
A few bonus pictures...
The most prominent place for UV's is the Small Boulevard (routes 47 and 49). On their way there (and back) they cross the Danube on the Szabadság híd (Liberty bridge, built 1893-96). That's a very nice place to photograph these old streetcars (although traffic sometimes hinders the composition:).
Another type that will vanish with the UV's: the 2-axle trailers. These were built before the UV was born (some of them was manufactured in 1939!), so they're really old, but I will miss them too - they may not be comfortable, but it's fun to ride them!
This graffity can be seen in remise Zugló, a classic place for UV's. The people there seem to love this tram! Too bad the depot now only operates TW6000 cars!
© Ákos Endre VARGA, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.
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