The new South Circle Railway (Déli Körvasút) will represent the embodiment of the Budapest Agglomeration Railway Strategy vision, which aims to increase the total number of passengers on suburban railway lines in the Budapest area by 80% by 2040. The new railway tunnel will connect two important railway stations in Budapest, Déli and Nyugati Railway Stations, with a 4.5-kilometre new underground route under the Danube.
The Danube tunnel plays a crucial role in improving the interoperability of Budapest and the competitiveness of the rail network. The aim is to ease the journey of those who arrive from the suburbs of Budapest and increase the average daily number of railway passengers from the Budapest agglomeration from half a million to 1 million, said Balázs Fürjes, Minister of State for Budapest and the Development of the Capital’s Metropolitan Area. He also added that “we do not believe in the introduction of a congestion fee or in re-educating people, but in offering competitive alternatives and making public transport more attractive”. Surveys also confirm that almost twice as many people would use suburban railways if the service improved in quantity and quality.
According to the plans,
the underground railway tunnel will connect Kelenföld Railway Station on the Buda side to Nyugati Railway Station on the Pest side. The new rails leading underground will start at Mészáros Street and connect to the M2 metro at Széll Kálmán Square. They will reach Nyugati Railway Station after the tunnel under the Danube and return to the surface at Dózsa György Road,
writes BudaPestKörnyéke. Index notes that in order for the trains to stop in Széll Kálmán Square, it would be necessary to create a 300-metre-long, four-track station. No decision has been made regarding the intermediate railway stops, although the construction of a stop in the Sashegy-Naphegy area has already been suggested.
The Danube tunnel will partially transform the current Nyugati terminal station into a transit railway station, while Déli Railway Station will be completely moved underground as a transit stop.
According to Budapestvasút2040, the tunnel will be approximately 4.5 kilometres long, with two electrified railway tracks. Its maximum capacity will be 24 trains/hour per direction, which is a capacity to cover not only suburban trains but also long-distance railway lines.