Much More To Be Seen With Tram Nineteen
The joys of Google Streetview means that we can take a virtual ride on fbb's chosen Budapest tram 19. The early stages of the route are hardly earth shattering in their transporte interest but we start with huge ominous apartment blocks, only relieved by a few trees.
As we move towards the city centre, we then meet smaller and more attractive housing, probably dating from the 1920s or 1930s.
There are suburban shopping centres and this one ...
... marks the terminus of the Heritage tram route - although fbb could see no obvious trackwork to turn the beautiful but ancient trams around.
Our virtual ride takes us through older smaller buildings, probably the "outer suburbs" of he city in the past.
And on we go, moving rapidly into the inner suburbs of the city. There are "official" buildings and taller older properties.
Then whilst our No 19 veers left, we espy another one of those linking tracks that ensure stock can be moved on and off any particular route.
There is one for the opposite direction later on. These links are very useful when track needs renewing or repairing. The tram service can continue even if diversions are in place.
But soon we hang a sharp left and aim for the River Danube.
To get to the riverside, we have a little bit of reserved track with a stop right outside a railway station, although you would never know it.
The entrance is in the trees and the trains are in a tunnel. The line used to be on the surface all the way ...
... but, in typical suburban style, the last two stops on this line have been moved underground. It descends into tunnel ...
... before calling at the well hidden "Margit" bridge stop.
We are on suburban line H5 of the Hungarian State Railway, branded HEV.
But back to our tram 19. It exits from the tram/train stop and we are in for a surprise.
The two tracks become one - only they don't! There is a short section of interlaced track
under the bridge. For the non ferroequinolgical experts, interlaced tracks are not joined in any way, just that they are, well, interlaced!
They split apart again on the other side of the bridge. And there are signals to prevent trams ramming into ine another!
We are now on a long stretch where the tram 19 runs along the banks of the Danube. The next stop ...
... is a busy interchange. After spotting the glorious Parliament Building on the opposite bank ...
... we can see more buses awaiting their interchanging passengers.
There is one of these ...
... a ventilation shaft for the railways underneath. And there is a station, or, more correctly a set of escalators.
Down below is the terminus of the HEV (suburban) line 5 ...
... and one of only two Metro lines that crosses the Danube.
Here is M2 at the multi modal interchange.
More on the Metro in a later blog.
Our virtual tram ride continues spectacularly along the banks of the Danube. Clearly an extra car lane has been added at a later date ...
... leaving the tram at a slightly higher level.
Good views guaranteed.
There are more bridges to undergo ...
... but, without actually crossing the river, tram 19 turns inland to make its way to its southern terminus.
That final terminus is here ...
... at Kelenfold Metro station, terminus of line 4..
It looks OK from a discrete distance, but, on closer examination, has seen better days. But is all what it seems?
But more on the Budapest Metro in a later blog.
Next Variety blog : Sunday 26th March
Until about 10 years ago, the 19 tram coming from the south terminated at Batthany Ter, while trams coming from the north (don't know the route number, but I've travelled on it) terminated on the northern side of Margaret Bridge. It was necessary to take the HEV train (1 stop) to cover the tramless section in between. There had been trams along that section in earlier times, perhaps pre-WW2, and there was a long-standing aim to fill the gap again. Unfortunately the street and building patterns made this difficult, and the Margaret Bridge was in the way. The only way through was via interlacing the track. Operations at Batthany Ter used to be pretty slick, with two terminal stubs and a scissors cross-over. Trams on routes 19 and 41 arrived alternately every few minutes - generally each stuck to their "own" terminal route. Of course things could go wrong, especially if a tram arrived early or left late; in this case it would stop before the crossover, set down its passengers, and wait till the terminal road became free.ReplyDelete