Metro line M3 is the longest underground in Budapest, and it transports the most passengers out of all the metro lines in the Hungarian capital. Since it is also one of the oldest, back in 2017, Budapest started the modernisation of the entire line and all stations. However, due to several unforeseen complications, the expected date of finishing the project will be postponed further.
According to Világgazdaság, the revamp of metro line M3 started in 2017 and would be implemented in three sections; the northern part of the underground was completed in 2019 and renovation works of the southern stations were finished by October 2020. The modernisation of the middle section in the city centre started in November 2020 and was expected to be fully completed in the first quarter of 2023.
We have previously reported that three stations will be handed over and available to use by passengers this May. These stations are the following: Kálvin Square, Corvin District and Semmelweis Clinics Stations.
Infostart reports that the construction company that performs the revamp told the Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK) that the workflow might be severely disrupted due to a number of outside circumstances. In addition to the probability of postponing the final handover date, the cost of the revamp might also increase significantly.
One of the main reasons is the war between Ukraine and Russia. Swietelsky, the construction company told Világgazdaság that since the onset of the military conflict there has been a shortage of workers and difficulties have popped up in shipping and manufacturing of building materials, such as steel, for example.
Adding insult to injury, the amendment of the fuel cap that the Hungarian Government has implemented, meaning the limit on the amount of purchasable fuel, has also caused some issues. According to the construction company, this has made it problematic to transport the workforce to the location of the job site.
Moreover, since some of the machinery and resources that are necessary for the revamp of the middle section of the M3 metro line is shipped from China through Russia and Ukraine the project is further delayed as reorganising the procurement of said machinery would be laborious and costly.
The Ukraine-Russia conflict has affected the modernisation of Budapest’s M3 metro line not only directly but indirectly as well. Since the war, the economic situation of the world has become tense and, among other things, the speeches of Ukraine’s Prime Minister have also contributed to the worsening of the Hungarian forint as a currency (due to the shifting public opinion about the country).
This decrease in the forint’s international purchasing power and the general increase of energy sources and raw materials will push up the expenses of the project, which might also cause further delays to secure proper funding.
All in all, it is unknown how long the deadline will be extended, but according to Világgazdaság, BKK asked the construction company to try and mitigate these difficulties within their own scope of actions and provide further evidence on the aforementioned problems.
While BKK’s answer was diplomatic in lack of exact numbers, the contract included assets that could be used to finish the project under increased prices.
Source: vg.hu, infostart.hu