Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Said line upgrade has an interesting story.

Until a decade ago, the Budapest–Esztergom line was as decrepit as any other branchline. However, a lot of rich people moved to housing projects along it, and got stuck in traffic jams on the parallel main road, thus demand for something better got the ears of decision-makers. The first improvement, from 2002, was the standard solution on the cheap: new vehicles, without much investment in infrastructure. But this boosted traffic beyond capacity: up to three coupled two-car DMUs at up to half-hourly frequency were chock-full carrying 14,000 passengers each day (much more than what made some exemplary line renewals the victims of their own success in Baden-Württemberg). Of course, delays were frequent.

With 85% financing available from the EU's 2007-2013 Cohesion Fund, finally it was time to touch the infrastructure. First the crumbling post-war "temporary" bridge over the Danube was replaced in 2008. Next was the Esztergom-end half of the line, which includes the passing loop. Buses replaced trains from June 2012 to let total reconstruction commence (see November 2012 photo). The busiest third of the line (between the previous two sections) is being double-tracked completely since the start of 2012, thus the entire line was out of service for a year (allowing the modern DMUs to be employed elsewhere). What remains to be tendered is the Budapest end and electrification (new EMUs have been tendered already), leaving just one out of the 15 rail lines radiating from Budapest without overhead lines.

Now if only at least some of the dozens of decaying branchlines further from the capital would get the same treatment...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat May 31st, 2014 at 09:28:55 AM EST
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