Thursday 23 March 2023

Much Interest In Budapest (1)

Hungary For A Challenge!

A short while back No 1 son with his wife spent a few days in Budapest which is, of course, the capital Of Hungry. Its history is complex and, as you might expect, riven with violence and political intrigue over many centuries. fbb just remembers the Russian invasion in 1956, but, aged 11, did not really understand it.

Two now-united communities (Buda and Pest - the latter pronounces "pesht") sit on opposite banks of the River Danube. It is a picturesque city with parts of the older areas designated a World Heritage Site. Notable buildings include:-

The Parliament Building

St Stephens Basilica
Buda Castle
The Chain Bridge
And lots more.

Look great does it not?

fbb does enjoy the challenge of exploring public transport in places where he has never been (and is unlikely ever to go!) but Budapest may be a challenge too far.

Your author's knowledge of the Hungarian language is about the same as his ability to finish an Iron Man race! But there is much of interest so, here goes!

The area "brand" is as shown below ...
...  and, as ever, the web site opens with a journey planner.
Much of the site is offered in English, usually the bits you don't need. But fbb could not start with the Journey Planner as he had absolutely no idea where to plan to and from.

The next option was a map. fbb hungrily attacked the button for the network map ...

... and the above was only an extract! In fact, fbb included a smaller chunk as a "Puzzle Map" in last weekend's variety blog.
It enlarges well and includes everything.

Under the fbb mantra "you can either be comprehensive OR comprehensible, but never both" it was going to be too much for a simple starter.

But there were more maps.



 and this one!

There is no map for just bus services!

fbb would like to begin with trams especially in view of No 1 Son's observation that he travelled on a rather quaint old tram. There is a link to such a service with a couple of pretty pictures ...
... including something in what has to be an ancient livery
The on-line information was dated for 2021 so fbb was slightly suspicious, but No 1 son seemed to have ridden the route. "The little ones were really nice" was his considered opinion. The trams in the pictures were showinh a route board "N" but the on-line map showed N19.

fbb wondered whether there was a "normal" tram 19, a bit like the former London Transport "Heritage" Routemaster routes. 

But help is at hand with ...
... a clickable panel which leads to another box ...
... which leads us to a map of the N19.
It starts in the central area, crosses the river then runs along he riverbank - presumably with picturesque views. A little wiggle takes it to its N19 terminus.
It ends opposite one of the islands in the Danube.

So the big question for fbb is this. Does the "normal" 19 follow a similar route. And, yes, the 19 does run alongside the river ...
... Eventually turning inland ...
... to a northern terminus shared with other tram routes.
We can now go to the tram map which is diagrammatic.
fbb will follow tram 19 in tomorrow's blog but tram 1 terminates at the same place and this little video whets the appetite for the rolling stock on route 1.
Yep! NINE segment articulated units. Impressive.

The 19 has new trams as well ...
... but only a paltry FIVE segments!
More from tram 19 tomorrow.

 Next Budapest tram blog : Thursday 23rd March 


  1. Andrew Kleissner23 March 2023 at 07:24

    I wonder if these were the "quaint old trams" your son rode on? They are used (although not in twin sets) on route 2 which runs along the Pest side of the river and is probably the route most used by visitors:

  2. I spent a few days in Budapest on a trip organised by a relative; my abiding transport memories are that the Metro had some appealing stations and the escalators were much faster than those in London.

  3. Andrew Kleissner23 March 2023 at 10:04

    Indeed they are, and the tiling on the sides is quite disorientating! They also have their own distinctive smell which is - strangely - to also be found on the escalators in St David's Hall, Cardiff. Takes me back every time I go to a concert there.