Hungary’s New TramTrain

Stadler TramTrain


A new TramTrain operation has opened on Feb. 22, in Hungary and all one can say is wow.

The 26.2 km Szeged-Hódmezővásárhely (please watch video) tram-train system is now open for operation in Hungary, connecting two of the cities of Szeged and Hódmezővásárhely.

Costing a total of €224 842 224  (CAD$345,750,843 or $8.6 million/km)), the diesel-electric bidirectional vehicles will travel seamlessly from Szeged and Hódmezővásárhely tram lines to the intercity railroad at speeds reaching 100 km/h!

A maximum 15 minute service (a train departing every 15 minutes  from either direction) is envisioned.

The cars are from Stadler and will be the first TramTrains is Hungary.

From Rail for the Valley’s point of view, the $8.6 million/km. cost per km validates the cost of under $1.5 billion to buikld and operate three trains an hour on a 130 km route from downtown Vancouver to Chilliwack, using the former BC Electric route. Put another way, less than  the cost of a 7 km of the Expo Line to Fleetwood!

A regional rail link, connecting downtown Vancouver to North Delta, Central Surrey, Cloverdale, downtown Langley, downtown Abbotsford, Sardis and Chilliwack costing less than the cost for a SkyTrain light-metro system to Fleetwood is a sound investment for the future, unfortunately making sound judgments on transit projects is not in the lexicon of the Mayors Council on Transit, TransLink and the Ministers of Transportation, both provincially and federally.

Hungarian TramTrain

Hungary’s first tram-train ready to roll

The diesel-electric bidirectional vehicles will switch seamlessly from Szeged and Hódmezővásárhely tram lines to the intercity railroad at speeds reaching 100 km/h

Farewell, replacement buses! From February 22, train traffic between the Hungarian cities of Szeged and Hódmezővásárhely will resume following a renovation of the intercity railway, reports

What makes this event memorable is that the refurbished line will be serviced by Hungary’s first diesel-electric tram-trains, manufactured by Stadler Rail Valencia SAU. The pioneering vehicle is already doing test rides and, according to the manufacturer, the next two tram-trains are expected to arrive this spring with another five to be delivered by this summer. The overall order is for 8+4 vehicles.

Fastest intercity access

The Citylink bidirectional, dual-mode vehicles will cover the distance between Hódmezővásárhely and Szeged in about 37 minutes, so they will provide the fastest way to get from one city to the other. During peak hours, the entire fleet of railway trams, nicknamed Vasvillai (Pitchforks), can be activated to have a vehicle running every 15 minutes.

The 37-metre-long, 71-ton tram-train has a capacity of 216 passengers and 92 seats (16 of them foldable). And because it is low-floor and barrier-free, it is also friendly to persons with reduced mobility. There are two multifunctional spaces suitable for wheelchairs, bicycles and prams.

City traffic regulations confine the tram-train to a maximum speed of 50 km/h, but once out of town, the stainless steel Pitchfork can dart off at up to 100 km/h, using its diesel drive. The comfortable vehicle features a state-of-the-art passenger information system, air conditioning, spacious driver’s cabin, and on-board security camera system.

HUF 80 billion investment

The reconstruction of the large railway track between the two cities which has been underway since April 2018, is financed by the Hungarian state. The contractor Swietelsky Vasúttechnika Kft. has received HUF 25, 676 billion. The total tram-train investment will cost HUF 80 billion (EUR 224 842 224).


One Response to “Hungary’s New TramTrain”
  1. Emily says:

    So pathetic Tran$link refuses to even discuss alternate rail transportation other than the old archaic wrongly named ‘SkyTrain’ so much money wasted on this and heck is Alstrom even going to continue with this obsolete system?

    Zwei replies: I think with no buyers of the system and Vancouver being the only customer, I am sure they will phase out the product, sooner than later.