After travelling across the capital’s southernmost Rákóczi Bridge on board tram line 1, Budapest mayor István Tarlós said that the bridge, inaugurated in 1995, has now gained its original function.
The lengthening of tram line 1, formerly connecting District III in northern Buda with Közvágóhíd at the bridge’s Pest bridgehead in District IX, has been on the agenda since Budapest’s second-newest bridge was handed over to traffic in 1995. In 2004, the development was included among projects to be carried out with EU financing.
Test runs began on the lengthened route in late February and although the first of the new, accessible Spanish-made CAF trams to serve the line has already arrived, the Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK)’s press office was unable to confirm when the old Czechoslovak trams will be replaced by the new vehicles.
Speaking of further development plans, Mr. Tarlós said that HUF 8.5 billion will be spent on the further lengthening of line 1 to Etele tér and HUF 125 billion on the complete revamp of metro line 3. HUF 26 billion will be spent on the construction of a new tram line to connect the Keleti pályaudvar railway station with the northern suburb of Újpalota in Dustrict XV and HUF 14 billion on another new tram line to serve the outskirts of District III in Buda.
photo: origo.hu/Gábor Szabó