Enthusiast

Hungary for More

17 to 22 May
Hungary

After our very successful tours of Hungary in 2013, 2015 and 2017, we return in 2018 to sample more of the indigenous locomotive classes of the country and to travel on rare or freight only lines. All of which is on our own private charter train. We plan to use two rare border crossings into Croatia. There really is something for everybody on this trip, a wide range of rare and interesting locos, including GM diesels, rare freight only lines, photographic opportunities, depot visit, and great scenery.

Operated by MÁV Nosztalgia for PTG, the stock of our train will be the same as in 2017: one first class open car with tables; one air-conditioned restaurant car with a full dining service, bottled craft beers and also beer on tap; one saloon car with sleeping cabins for train crew and one open car at the rear that has only small tables and allows better access to the window.

Highlights
  • Private charter train
  • Unusual locomotives
  • Non-passenger lines
  • Vintage carriages with refreshment car

Tour Manager: Ferenc

Itinerary – Updated 13th February

Thursday 17 May  Flight departures from the UK direct from Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, Bristol (Tue/Thu/Sat), Glasgow (Tue/Thu/Sat), Birmingham (Tue/Thu/Sat), East Midlands (Mon/Wed/Fri), Liverpool (Tue/Thu/Sat) and Manchester (Tue/Thu/Sat/Sun) to Budapest, Hungary’s capital city. This is a bustling metropolis at any time of the year and there are too many sights to list them all. The riverside on both the east and west banks of the Danube are listed by Unesco as a World Heritage, including the view of Buda castle district. A second World Heritage site is Andrássy avenue that runs above the first electric underground line of the World, opened in 1896. Budapest boasts several thermal baths, seven food market halls, four metro lines and an amazing system of trams. The city also has three big railway termini. If you book your hotel through PTG, you will be based close to Keleti station where the tour will depart from and return to on the days when we stay the night in this amazing city.

Tourists from all over the World enjoy the hundreds of restaurants and nightlife, and several craft beer bars are also located in the city. The Danube carries river freight from Rotterdam to the Black Sea and cruise line boats also dock in the city which has also many festivals and museums to choose from. You can ride along the Danube on tram lines 2 or 17, take the cog wheel railway to see the Children’s Railway or ride the underground line to Heroe’s Square (Hősök tere) where the Millenium monument is located. The Houses of Parliament now have a visitor’s centre. This neo-gothic style building was modelled in style on Westminster. Szent István basilica, named after the first king of Hungary (St. Stephen, crowned on Christmas Day in the year 1000), is the second largest in Hungary, only topped by that in Esztergom.

Friday 18 May (B) Planned departure from Budapest-Keleti is 08.25, to be confirmed. Our first locomotive of the day will be one of two private M62s in Hungary, owned by Kárpát Vasút (Carpathian Railway Company). Today we first visit Dunai Finomító near Százhalombatta, the largest refinery in Hungary where no passenger train is known to have travelled before. Our train will initially be top and tailed to negotiate two reversals required due to major infrastructure works, resulting in the line from Kelenföld to Érd-felső being completely blocked. This means that the locomotive that brings the stock in from the railway park in the morning, will remain on the back of our stock and work a short section between Tárnok and Érd-felső. Following our visit to the refinery, we continue along the main line to Pécs as far as Rétszilas. Here we branch off onto the secondary main line towards Bátaszék and from there we take the branch line (including a tunnel) to Dombóvár-alsó. Both these lines are single track and without electrification. In fact, we will not see double-track lines for the next 48 hours! In Dombóvár, our train will enter the depot for a visit, then use Hungary’s only electric locomotive type with six axles via the hilly route (including another two tunnels) to Pécs, the most Mediterranean city of Hungary with Unesco World Heritage sites. The V63 Class is now used for freight trains only, it is very rare to see one on a passenger train! A planned arrival of 19.07 to Pécs will mean the city centre, with some fine restaurants and wine places, may be discovered still in daylight, but it is also worth experiencing the main square at night, with its impressive Turkish mosque dating from the 16th century. This is the northernmost historic mosque in Europe. However, anybody interested in the small depot at Pécs station, may visit it, straight after arrival. We will use a 4-star hotel for the next two nights, which is 600 meters (10 minutes) walking distance from the railway station.

Kárpát Vasút 628 168 (former MÁV M62 178) ” Sergei”: Budapest-Keleti – Tárnok (reverse)

MÁV Nosztalgia type M44 industrial loco: Tárnok – Érd-felső (reverse)

Kárpát Vasút 628 168 (former MÁV M62 178) ” Sergei”: Érd-felső – Dunai Finomító (reverse)

MOL industrial locomotive (type M44):  Dunai Finomító – „DUFI” refinery visit (reverse) – Dunai Finomító

Kárpát Vasút 628 168 (former MÁV M62 178) ” Sergei”: Dunai Finomító – Pusztaszabolcs – Sárbogárd – Rétszilas – Szekszárd – Bátaszék (reverse) – Dombóvár-alsó (reverse) – Dombóvár depot (depot visit) – Dombóvár (reverse) 

MÁV-START Class 630 electric “Gigant”: Dombóvár – Szentlőrinc – Pécs

Saturday 19 May (B) Our Saturday is designed to utilise two border crossings between Hungary and Croatia that currently see no passenger services. The whole day is on single-track lines, meaning we will have to perform several crossings with oncoming trains. We leave Pécs at 07.40 in the morning (to be confirmed) and first travel south via a secondary line, which however used to see direct trains to Sarajevo in the past. Within Croatia, we requested to use a Class 2062 diesel locomotive. We will travel on former classic stamping grounds of the Class towards Koprivnica, from where we use the branch line to Varazdin and then the secondary main line onwards to Cakovec, returning via Kotoriba to Hungary at Murakeresztúr. From here we return to Pécs through Gyékényes and the secondary main line via Barcs, meaning we travel for 95% of the day on unelectrified sections. On our way back to Pécs, we have agreed with GySEV to use the sole remaining Ludmilla (ex-DB Class 232 locomotive) remaining in Hungary, leased from DB Cargo Romania. Our arrival back will most likely be at 20.20.

MÁV-START M62 194, in original livery: Pécs – Magyarbóly (H)

HZ 2062: Magyarbóly (H) – Beli Manastir (HR) – Osijek – Koprivnica – Varazdin – Cakovec – Kotoriba (HR) – Murakeresztúr (H) (reverse)

GySEV 651 002 (ex DB 232 543): Murakeresztúr – Gyékényes – Barcs – Szentlőrinc – Pécs

Sunday 20 May (B) This morning we check out of our hotel and depart Pécs at 08.12. The first locomotive of the day will be a Class V46 electric “coathanger” shunting locomotive. We retrace our steps from Friday as far as Bátaszék, doing different curves at Dombóvár. We thus clear the tracks at this )X( shaped junction. The remainder of the trip to Kiskőrös will see us using a former Romanian diesel locomotive (type 060-DA, or CFR Class 60/62) built by Electroputere, under licence from Sulzer. This will be the first passenger train for this class at MMV! After crossing the Danube and visiting the port branch at Baja, where again we have no knowledge of a passenger train working in the past. From Baja towards the east, ours will be a rare hauled train across the plains. We again hit wires at Kiskunhalas, for the short trip towards the Kalocsa branch. From Kiskőrös we will be in the hands of DB Cargo for our visit on the freight-only branch to Kalocsa and we will then pay a visit the 7-km-long industrial spur leading to the vegetable oil factory at Foktő. Over half of this line was built only 5 years ago. We have no access to enter the plant itself, please bear with us! We return back to the main line, where we will use a recently reinstated Class M40 diesel locomotive from MÁV Nosztalgia for the trip back to the capital. This is along along the Budapest–Kelebia line, to be modernised in a few years from a Chinese bank loan. For the last 50 kms, we return to double track lines. However, the trip between Kiskörös and Budapest is very slow due to several crossing on the single line section and speed restrictions of 60 km/h. Our arrival to Keleti station will be at 21.00, however the restaurant car staff will be happy to serve you dinner on the train and our hotel is right across the road from Keleti station. The following day is a national holiday, so expect the city to be thriving with tourists!

MÁV-Start Class 460 electrc shunter:  Pécs – Szentlőrinc – Dombóvár-alsó (reverse) – Dombóvár

MMV ex-CFR Sulzer: Dombóvár – Bátaszék – Baja (reverse) – Danube port branch (reverse) – Kiskunhalas – Kiskőrös (reverse)

DB Cargo ex-DB 290: Kiskőrös – Kalocsa – Foktő vegetable oil factory line (reverse) – Kalocsa – Kiskőrös

MÁV-Nosztalgia type M40: Kiskőrös – Kunszentmiklós-Tass – Budapest-Keleti

Monday 21 May (B) Today is Pentacost Monday and we will travel in the same manner as on Friday as far as Pusztaszabolcs (departing Keleti station likely at 8.25), except for making a daytime visit to Ferencváros yards, where it was too dark when we visited in 2017. We will have a Ferencváros based electric shunter on the train departing from Keleti and at Ferencváros, M61 020 of MÁV (but operated by MÁV Nosztalgia) will be added to work the train for most of the day. This loco will be the fifth different M61 working on four PTG tours, leaving only very common M61 017 to clear the members of class still operating, for our regular tour participants! We retain the electric shunter at the end of the train to work the short section between Tárnok and Érd-felső, but will bid farewell to it at Érd station. We continue to repeat our path from Friday as far as Pusztaszabolcs, from where it is again single lin working, albeit under the wires, to Dunaújváros. Here our train will be split as only two carriages (the first class car and the restaurant car) may enter the vast system of Dunaferr steel works, so passengers from the second class car will be kindly invited to ride in the restaurant car for the next two hours. We requested a type A23 (same as MÁV Class M31) three-axle industrial locomotive to haul our train, and different from the one used on a tour in 2013, if available. After returning to MÁV tracks and reassembling our train, we sadly have to return via the same route to the outskirts of Budapest, as infrastructure works and consequent freight diversions mean no paths are availeble in the direction of Székesfehérvár via the more interesting secondary lines. In the process, we will have M62 001, the first of the series production M62 type locos in the whole of Europe, and sporting its original MÁV livery, added to the end of our train at Érd. After reversal at Érd-felső, the M62 will work our train for the rest of the day, however we will deposit the NOHAB at Tárnok along the way. We have requested an hour at Székesfehérvár to visit the depot area, we are awaiting confirmation. From Székesfehérvár, we continue north on a single-track diesel line as far as Komárom. This route sees only two pairs of trains a day, all pacers. At Komárom we reverse and from here we will have a storming run under the wires on the main line from Vienna to Budapest, where diesel haulage is extremely rare, especially for a Class M62 locomotive – althoug there were Sunday evening trains here with M62 traction in the 1990s. We arrive back to Keleti station between 20.00 and 21.00, final timings to be confirmed. Once again, the dining car will have a hot food on their menu, as throughout the whole trip, if you decide to eat before it gets dark. At Budapest-Keleti we conclude our four-day tour, although it will be interesting to see what loco MÁV Nosztalgia decides to use to return the stock to the railway park, and if those desperados on board would be allowed to ride as far as Rákosrendező!

MÁV-START Szergei 628 001: Budapest-Keleti  – Budapest-Ferencváros yards (reverse) – Kelenföld – Székesfehérvár (reverse) – Börgönd – Pusztaszabolcs (reverse) – Dunaújváros – „Dunaferr” steel mill visit (industrial loco) – Mezőfalva – Rétszilas (reverse) – Sárbogárd – Börgönd – Székesfehérvár (depot visit)

private ex-CSD Class 740/742 or ex-CFR Class 60 diesel: Székesfehérvár – Komárom (reverse) – Tatabánya – Kelenföld – Budapest-Keleti

Tuesday 22 May (B) Road transfers to the airport for those returning to the UK.

Hotels

Budget
Hotel Golden Park in Budapest
Corso Hotel in Pécs (standard room)

Quality
The Three Corners Hotel Bristol (deluxe rooms)
Corso Hotel in Pécs (superior room or suite)
For singles you will have a  double room for single use

Flights

BA874 12.50 Heathrow to Budapest (arr 16.25)
BA867 13.15 Budapest to Heathrow (arr 15.00)

FR8358 08.45 Manchester to Budapest (arr 12.15)
FR8357 06.30 Budapest to Manchester (arr 08.20)

EZY8423 10.15 Gatwick to Budapest (arr 13.45)
EZY8424 10.00 Budapest to Gatwick (arr 11.45)

BE6160 07.20 Southend to Budapest (arr 10.45)
BE6161 11.20 Budapest to Southend (arr 12.45)

FR8206 19.50 Bristol to Budapest (arr 23.30)
FR8207 17.40 Budapest to Bristol (arr 19.25)

FR8445 11.45 Stansted to Budapest (arr 15.10)
FR8446 15.35 Budapest to Stansted (arr 17.10)

Place(s) available

Itinerary updated 13/02/2018

Holiday prices per person
  • Full 6 day holiday including flight from most UK airports staying at the budget hotels: £1,120
  • Full 6 day holiday including flight from most UK airports staying at the quality hotels: £1,240
  • Full 6 day holiday joining in Budapest and staying in the budget hotels: £920
  • Special trains only: £180 per day (£720 for the full 4 days)

Options

  • Hotel Single Room Supplement: £100 (budget) or £180 (quality)
  • Fly from Heathrow (or late bookers): Supplement may apply and will be confirmed at time of booking.

Deposit

  • £100 (balance of deposit due 15/01/2018)
Your holiday price includes
  • All travel as outlined in the itinerary
  • Good quality en-suite accommodation with breakfast (not if train only)
  • Services of our local tour manager. Holiday is fully escorted from Budapest
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