The Magyar Koronaőrök Egyesülete (Hungarian Crown Guards’ Association) aimed to finish the restoration by 2018, for the 80th anniversary of the Eucharistic World Congress, which was then organised by Hungary. The state took part in the responsibilities and decided to cover some of the costs through the National Museum, which allowed the constructions to begin.
Only two of that carriage-type remained usable, one of them was at the Railway Museum on a platform that holds dying carriages and locomotives. The undercarriage was transported on a trailer by an entrepreneur to a vehicle repairing factory in Dunakeszi, because it was in poor condition that made railway transport impossible. The restoration process thus begun, to reconstruct the Golden Train, which once carried around Saint Stephen’s Holy Right Hand in the country.
The project’s goal was to recreate the carriage of 33 tonnes, 18.21 metre length, 4.65 metre height, 3 metre width, having 10 seats and a speed of 120 km/h. Once it is done, presumably by the end of the next year, it will be kept in the Hungarian Railway Museum. The costs of the restoration are covered by the Ministry of Human Resources on one hand, and by the Budakeszi Kultúra Alapítvány (Budakeszi Culture Fund) and the Crown Guards on the other hand.
Due to expensive permissions, changes regarding technical standards, and necessary materials, the original frame of 79 million HUF (over 250 EUR) needed for the project increased to 130 million HUF (over 420 thousand EUR). Though, according to Imre Woth, director of the Crown Guards, 30-40 million HUF would still be welcomed for the implementations. However, he mentions that some people helped them on their own costs, because they aimed for glory instead of making profits.
Woth also mentioned that, even though the Train will be located in the Railway Museum, it might be possible to let it go around the country carrying the Holy Right Hand again. He, for one, surely finds it a good idea, because many people were employed by this tradition and participated in the journey back then. It also brought the right for Hungary to host the Eucharistic World Congress in 1938, which meant a great deal.
Furthermore, the carriage also has the potential to be a tourist attraction, for there are not really any other relic-transporting carriages in the world. Furthermore, if an international traffic licence could be granted, the carriage might go on a journey to Transylvania, including Csíksomlyó, as well. Additionally, the University of Technology and Economics in Budapest could reproduce the anti-vibration mechanism, which was and will be important for the reliquary.
Photos: Magyar Koronaőr Egyesülete
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