Enthusiast

Really Hungary

14 to 20 May
Hungary

Following our 2018 tour to Hungary (with a taste of Croatia) we are returning to Hungary for more rare lines and locomotives, but also visiting Slovakia as well as passing through Austria. This tour will offer plenty of Kolomna power since three Hungarian railway companies have recently purchased former DB Class 232 and 233 locomotives. The latter, (re-engined with newer Kolomna diesel motors), have worked very few passenger trains in Germany.

We will once again travel in stock provided by MÁV Nosztalgia, with two ex-ÖBB first class open carriages, one at each end of the train. A restaurant car and former governmental saloon Nr. 55, offering a big central table, will be situated in the middle of the train. During our trip, we will spend 2 nights in Sopron, a lively and historic town near the Hungarian-Austrian border.

Highlights

  • Private charter train with vintage carriages
  • On-train restaurant car
  • Popular locomotives including 232 and 233 classes
  • Ludmilla locomotive haulage
  • Border crossings
  • Some non-passenger lines
  • Good hotels

Tour Manager: Ferenc

Itinerary 

Day 1 Tuesday 14 May  Flight departures (from 2018 schedules) from the UK direct from Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, Bristol, Glasgow, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester to Budapest, Hungary’s capital city. 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.

Day 2 Wednesday 15 May 2019 (B) We set out behind one of the recently purchased former DB Class 232 “Ludmilla” locomotives of MTMG, and head directly for Székesfehérvár from where we will visit the freight-only branch to Lovasberény, once part of the Székesfehérvár – Bicske railway but the northern section is abandoned. Continuing through Várpalota to Hajmáskér a small diesel locomotive will take us down the former line that used to go to Csajág and Lepsény. Currently the line south of Papkeszi is closed, so we will return from here to Hajmáskér and our Ludmilla will take us to Rákos station in Budapest, the route depending on engineering works. Along the way we hope that permission will be given to visit a very interesting freight spur. From Rákos, we plan to use M62 001 across the border (just!) into Slovakia and back to Keleti station. If timings allow, we will try to use the Vácrátót branch line for our return trip from Štúrovo.

Requested route and power:

Ex-DB Class 232 locomotive (232 055 or 232 452) Budapest-Keleti – Székesfehérvár – Lovasberény – Székesfehérvár – Hajmáskér
Type M43 industrial locomotive Hajmáskér – Papkeszi – Hajmáskér*
Ex-DB Class 232 locomotive (same as above) Hajmáskér – Székesfehérvár – Rákos
MÁV-START M62 001 Rákos – Szob – Štúrovo – Budapest-Keleti

* Negotiations are in process to visit one or two freight spurs in the area

Day 3 Thursday 16 May (B) Our morning will again start with a Ludmilla, this time from Kárpát Vasút. We retrace our steps from the day before as far as Székesfehérvár, unless restrictions are lifted and we are allowed to use alternative routes. This time we will carry on along the shores of Lake Balaton. We hope to take the line on the northern shore but if the planned electrification works to Balatonfüred have commenced then we will travel via Fonyód and Keszthely. At Tapolca, the station pilot will take over for the short trip along the freight line to Zalahaláp and back. We continue with our Ludmilla north to Győr, visiting the steeply graded freight spur to the Uzsa mine en route as well as the Celldömölk avoiding line. We may pass through Győr station non-stop as our locomotive change will take place at the freight-only GySEV station. A GySEV Class 448 locomotive (former M44) will speed us along the main line to Sopron, doing the curve into Sopron freight yards en-route. These locomotives have a Deutz diesel engine in them and are very throaty! A bus transfer will be provided to the hotel for those who choose to book accommodation via PTG.

Requested route and power:

Ex-DB Class 233 locomotive (233 441 or 233 249) Budapest-Keleti – Tapolca
MÁV-START Class 478 (modernised M47) locomotive Tapolca – Zalahaláp – Tapolca
Ex-DB Class 233 locomotive (same as above) Tapolca – Uzsa – Uzsa mine freight spur – Uzsa – Celldömölk freight yard and avoider – Győr – Győr GySEV station
GySEV type M44 locomotive Győr GySEV station – Sopron freight yard – Sopron

Day 4 Friday 17 May (B) For the third day in a row we start out with Kolomna power in the shape of a former DB Ludmilla, this time a former Class 233 locomotive provided by GySEV. We pass through Szombathely, then under the wires to Szentgotthárd from where we will use a heritage diesel locomotive to travel through Austria to Fehring and then along the Aspangbahn to Wiener Neustadt. Continuing to Ebenfurth, GySEV’s unique Class M42 locomotive will take over for the remainder of the journey back into Hungary. Once again, a bus transfer will be provided to those who book accommodation with PTG. We expect to arrive to Sopron at a reasonable hour so that participants can explore and dine in the city. However, the restaurant car will offer a full dinner service as usual.

Requested route and power:

Ex-DB Class 233 locomotive Nr. 2 Sopron  –  Szombathely – Szentgotthárd
ÖBB Class 2050 or 2143 locomotive Szentgotthárd – Fehring – Wiener Neustadt  – Ebenfurth
GySEV type M42 locomotive (428 001) Ebenfurth – Sopron

Day 5 Saturday 18 May (B) This morning we make a circuit of lake Fertő-tó (Neusiedlersee in German) diesel-hauled, behind a different type M44 locomotive from the one used on Thursday. A one-time permission will be sought for our loco to travel between Wulkaprodersdorf and Neusiedl am See. From here we hope to use the other GySEV 233 via Hegyeshalom towards Bratislava, but if it is not available a V63 will be used instead. At the border, Bratislava museum loco T678 0012 will take over for the short journey to the Slovakian capital. Nicknamed Pomeranč (translates as orange), the locomotive will haul us into one of the many freight stations in Bratislava, where we hope to enter an extensive freight complex. Please note that our route will not necessarily bring us into the main station. A former Belgian Railways (SNCB) Class 12 locomotive, now operated by CER Slovakia will speed us back towards Budapest via Nové Zámky, although paperwork may require, or finances may allow us to use a different locomotive between Štúrovo and Budapest-Keleti station.

Requested route and power:

GySEV type M44 locomotive Nr. 2 Sopron – Wulkaprodersdorf – Eisenstadt – Neusiedl am See – Pamhagen – Fertőszentmiklós
Ex-DB Class 233 locomotive Nr. 3 or MÁV-START V63 Fertőszentmiklós – Csorna – Hegyeshalom – Rajka
Slovakian Pomeranc museum loco Rajka – Bratislava*
CER ex-SNCB 1200 locomotive Bratislava – Štúrovo – Budapest-Keleti**

* We are awaiting approval to cover some interesting freight spurs in the area

** A different loco may be used in Hungary, depending on paperwork and costs

Day 6 Sunday 19 May (B) On our final day and we expect to set off behind Kárpát Vasút Nohab number 459 022, which is former DSB MY 1156 and will ensure that there has never been a PTG tour to Hungary without Nohab haulage. Subject to approval, we will visit the Metrans container terminal (erected in 2016) on Csepel Island and our train will be hauled into the terminal by one of the former ČSD Class 740 locomotives owned by the company. This line is an extension from the Csepel Művek site which was previously a restricted area. We continue behind a colourful private railway shunter of the same style as the previous loco as far as Délegyháza where we will traverse the branch to the local pebble mine, one of the largest of its type in Hungary. At Kunszentmiklós-Tass we reach the end of suburban services. A former branch line begins here and ends at Dunapataj and subject to track condition we will travel the branch, closed to passenger services in March 2007. In the unlikely event of refusal (the final decision will only be made by MÁV weeks before the tour), we will cover a different branch line. Upon our return from Dunapataj, we will swap locos to either a private railway electric loco or an MÁV-START V46 for our trip back to Budapest.

Requested route and power:

Kárpát Vasút 459 022 (ex-DSB MY 1156) Budapest-Keleti – Soroksári út rendező*
Metrans Class 740 (ex-ČSD) locomotive Soroksári út rendező – Metrans container terminal** – Soroksári út rendező
Petrolsped 742 276 (ex-ČSD Class 742) or other suitable private railway locomotive Soroksári út rendező – Délegyháza – pebble mine freight spur – Délegyháza – Kunszentmiklós-Tass – Dunapataj – Kunszentmiklós-Tass
Former ČSD Class 242 / BDŽ Class 46 private railway locomotive or MÁV-START V46 Kunszentmiklós-Tass – Budapest-Keleti

* Awaiting approval to visit a newly built freight spur en-route
** Subject to approval

Note: We are working hard to be allowed to enter and cover several freight spurs or industrial sites that would make this tour really appealing to track enthusiasts, however there are no guarantees that final approvals will be forthcoming so please check back at our website for updates on the freight spur situation.

Day 7 Monday 20 May (B) Road transfers to the airport for those returning to the UK.

Latest Updates (19/10/2018)

A section of the Lovasberény branch is now closed due to bad track, meaning we can only travel a bit of the line. Nobody at this time can tell us if it will be repaired. We will visit one or two shorter freight spurs in Várpalota to make up for the loss, if we can’t do the full line. 

On 17 May, the Austrian loco will work not to Ebenfurth but to Wulkaprodersdorf and the M42 will take over there.

On 18 May, the M44 isn’t allowed between Wulkaprodersdorf and Neusiedl am See, so this loco will be replaced on the whole route Sopron-Fertőszentmiklós by a GySEV M40.

Again on 18 May, the Pomeranc in Bratislava seems to be under repair and we don’t know if it will be available. In case it is not, a Class 770/771 loco will be used instead.

Also, we can add a depot visit at Sopron for 16 May, we hope to have a very small shunting loco push us into the depot.

Hotels

Hotel Golden Park in Budapest
Others TBC

Flights (based on 2018 timetables)

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

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • Flight price confirmed at time of booking: allow £140-£250*
  • Special trains only: £1,100 for the full five days or £225 for individual days
  • 6-night hotel and transfer package: £295 (twin/double), £395 (single)

Options

  • Fly from Heathrow (or late bookers): Supplement may apply and will be confirmed at time of booking.

Deposit

  • £100 (balance of deposit due 15/01/2019)

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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