Hungarian State Railways is set to expand its fleet for international rail services with 22 newly purchased air-conditioned couchette cars, to be used on routes to Transylvania and the V4 countries from December 2020.
As part of a contract with Slovakian company Wagon Service Travel, Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) will expand its international fleet with 22 air-conditioned couchette cars by the end of this year. The company currently operates 33 couchette cars, only 15 of which are air-conditioned.
As Turizmusonline reports, the purchase will allow MÁV to expand its route network and to increase the capacity of already existing routes. According to the announcement published on MÁV-Start, the contract is worth EUR 8.7 million (HUF 3 billion), which will be financed through their own resources.
The cars will most likely be used on the Corona night trains to Transylvania, and the routes to the V4 countries. The first carriages will join the fleet in December this year.
The new couchette cars will fit the design of the company’s existing fleet. They will have an easily adjustable configuration, with bunk beds that can be folded should the passengers not need them. The wide doors and corridors will provide easy access to wheelchair passengers, too. The cars are equipped with a braking system that ensures quiet operation and will be able to run at a speed of 200 km/h.
As Turizmusonline reports, there has been a growing demand for night train travel, as it is a practical and environmentally friendly alternative to other forms of travelling. Other than the destinations above, there are also regular night trains serving the central stations of Zürich and Berlin, which are other prevalent destinations among travellers from Hungary.
MÁV is planning to make improvements in the area of domestic railway travel, too. As Origo reports, one priority of the company’s strategic plans for the 2020–2030 period is the shortening of travel time between some major and busier cities in the country, for example on the routes Debrecen–Nyíregyháza and Kiskunfélegyháza–Szeged.
Rail line reconstructions have already commenced in some areas. As Róbert Homolya, president of MÁV says, an objective for 2022 is to have at least 560 km of rail lines where trains can run at 160 km/h. The most important goal of the investments, he says, is “to increase the competitiveness of railways in relation to road travel.”
In the meantime, MÁV has also entered the world of road travel as the ownership of state-owned bus company Volán is currently being transferred to the railway company. You can read more about this here.
Source: turizmusonline.hu, origo.hu