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On Monday morning, the newly-founded Budapest Development Center (BFK) revealed the plans for the first stage of the construction of Metro 5, BFK president Dávid Vitézy announced. This basically involves the refurbishment of the suburban railway lines (HÉV) and the connection between the two southern lines (H6 and H7).

This stage of the project will involve the renovation of the H5 (Szentendre), H6 (Ráckeve), and H7 (Csepel) suburban railway lines. This will include, for example, the repair and renovation of the rails, the stations, and the establishment of P+R parking lots.

One of the most important parts of the plan is to connect the H6 and H7 lines as they approach the capital’s inner districts, to drive them underground at Közvágóhíd, and extend the joined line until Kálvin Square, where the already existing metros 3 and 4 intersect, Vitézy now revealed.

These steps together will be part of the first stage of the Metro 5 line, which would be completed with the construction of a tunnel under the Danube connecting the H6 and H7 lines with the H5 line. This would create a high-speed rail system from Szentendre to Csepel and Ráckeve, on which the state railway’s (MÁV) suburban trains (the Esztergom and Kunszentmiklós-Tass lines) could also run in the future.

Vitzéy said the project could double the number of people who commute by rail from the suburbs into the capital, explaining that a significant share of the Budapest car traffic comes from the agglomeration, so making public transport a viable choice is a common interest. He also said that the development of the HÉV lines is the most important transport investment at the moment.

The extensions and refurbishments will increase the passenger capacity on the southern HÉV lines (H6 and H7) from 47,000 to 108,000. According to preliminary calculations, travel from Csepel to downtown will be reduced by 7 minutes, and from Ráckeve by 30 minutes.

featured image: illustration; via MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák