Metro line M3 – no end to the problems?
The debut of the new carriages of metro line M3 did not really go as planned so to say. Bkvfigyelo.24.hu states that it was rather a catastrophe.
According to the site, the difficulties all started when the Russian Metrovagonmas won the investment even though their carriages fail the modernity standards and their reference carriages are only in the testing phase in Moscow. In turn, the 0.5 million people travelling on M3 daily need a modern metro that is produced according to the standards.
Besides, the EU sanctions against Russia ruled out purchasing new carriages. That is why the government decided to announce the tender/apply for a loan to renew carriages. However, the carriages operating in Budapest are anything but renewed, for it is the driver’s cabin only that was kept from the original one.
Yet, new carriages are due to be purchased in every 30-40 years, so the people of Budapest surely deserve to get ones which would operate well in any city of the world. Furthermore, the author writes that, with a few colleagues, they visited the factory of Metrovagonmas in November, and a leader of the company there told them that they do not produce this type anywhere else, because it is unmarketable.
Also, modern metro carriages (like two lines in Budapest as well) do have air conditioners to avoid the high temperatures, as in the case of the Combino trams, which were at first purchased without air conditioners, but after the temperature was measured and it turned out that not even animals should have been transported in such circumstances, all of the trams got installed with air conditioners.
When István Tarlós, chief Mayor of Budapest, was asked about the air conditioner, he compared its necessity to giving every passenger a flower bouquet upon taking on, implying how useless it would be. Moreover, the whole investment is also really expensive: while Metrovagonmas did not offer a generally favorable price for the investment, somehow the Estonian Skinest Rail (who offered the cheapest prices) got excluded from the tender.
It would have taken 15-20 billion HUF (48-64 million EUR) to purchase better carriages, which could have been suitable. Although this is quite some money, the site notes that the government spends incredible amounts on silly and completely useless things. Thus, by considering the expenditures a bit more, 0.5 million passengers could have had carriages that are not regarded as the worst on the market.