Budapest public transit life III.
Spring to Winter 2012

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Autumn turns to Winter

Although most of autumn was quite winterish with lots of rain and clouds, the end of it and the beginning of winter was more like how you would envise autumn: nice colors and sunshine.

Of course in an alternating way: these four photos were taken during the same day.

Another potpourri of tram scenes on tram line 2 and the Grand Boulevard.

And now: some late November weather in December. Seen here is the embankment line on the Buda side.

More Autumn/Winter scenes on video:

0:03- Tram 59 climbing upwards along Németvölgyi út
0:12- Tram 2 at Petőfi tér
0:26- Tram 59 again
0:35- Tram 4 in Irinyi József utca
0:45- A 2-axle SOR city bus being tested on bus line 8
0:53- Kacsóh Pongrác út/Mexikói út, terminus of trolley bus line 74A, with a diesel-hauled train heading for Lajosmizse in the background
1:06- Tram 59, yet again
1:17- Tram 4 and 6 meeting in József körút
1:31- Tram 37A in Népszínház utca
1:37- Tram 47 coming off Szabadság híd

125 years of electric trams in Budapest (full report coming later)

To celebrate the 125th "birthday" of the first electric tramway of Budapest, the Grand Boulevard was turned into a heritage tram alley on November 25, 2012. It was a true feast, with the old trams arriving from both directions every few minutes! I'm planning to create a separate page about that later, so this now is just a small teaser.

Normaly heritage tram number 1074 (built in 1912 in Kistarcsa) is not allowed to run on the Grand Boulevard because of its large wheelbase (4500 mm) and wheel diameter (960 mm), but it received a temporary permit for the parade. Prior to that it did a test run, that's when I caught it at Újbuda-központ (left). To the right: the quite large four-wheeler at Margit híd, budai hídfő during the festivities.

Here's a video of the parade. The vehicles - active and heritage trams, works cars and special configurations (e.g. solo Tatras are not used normally, modernised ones especially not, coupled KCSV7 sets neither) - were mixing with the early sunday traffic, and the Grand Boulevard provided a wonderful backdrop!

A piece of childhood memories returned onto the streets of Budapest, when the newest addition to the BKV heritage tram fleet entered the tracks in mid-November. Number 2624 is one of the pre-war streetcars rebuilt with a new body between 1955 and 61 in the Capital Tramways' (FVV) Füzesi Árpád workshop, and the only remaining of the 2600-series. It was built in 1906 by Schlick of Budapest as type "G" wooden-frame four-wheeler BVVV number 270, looking something like this. The car received its final number - 2624 - by the unified urban transit company BSzKRt in 1923, and was only slightly modified during the next decades. The big reconstruction came in 1959, when the car received a steel-frame body, which it proudly sported for more than two further decades (it was withdrawn in 1981). Somehow it wasn't scrapped, but stored in remise Újpest which had lost its track connections, from where it was saved by a Dutch tram enthusiast. Thus the car found a new home in Amsterdam for a while, even doing some heritage rides in the inner city in 1987. It was transported back to Budapest by the BKV upon suggestions of tram enthusiasts in 2004, and finally renovated in 2010-12. On these two pictures you can see it in remise Zugló (left) and on Széchenyi rakpart along route 2 (right).

And this is how this old boomerang of a streetcar rode tram line 2 on November 28, the actual jubilee of electric tram operation in Budapest.

A bit of Grand Boulevard

During the 125-year parade I had lots of time to take photos of "normal" operation on route 4/6, too:

The trackage between Üllői út and Blaha Lujza tér was renovated between October 13 and November 14 - note that the new concrete covering is plain grey...

... in contrast to the original from 1994-95 that had dark asphalt stripes between the rails and yellowish trimming, as you can see to the right in Szent István körút.

More Combinos at Oktogon and on Margit híd.

Next page: 125 years of HÉV, trolley buses in lividity and the Christmas Tram rides again

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