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Nostalgic Trains and Buses Celebrate Transport History at Lake Balaton

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.07.08.

On the railway line of Lake Balaton’s northern shore, between Keszthely and Tapolca, classic vehicles were reminiscent of the old days.

Anniversary trains, locomotives and buses were the special feature of the event. This year marks the 30th anniversary of a unique vehicle from the Hungarian InterCity motor train production, the “Samu” nicknamed BVmot multiple unit train. The V63 “Gigant” electric locomotives had rolled off the production line 50 years ago, and the M44 “Bobo” shunting locomotives had turned 70 years old. In addition,

one of the Hungarian railway vehicle manufacturing’s most successful products, the 424 steam locomotive, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.


Blueprint of the 424 series locomotive. Picture: Facebook / Hungarian locomotives / Magyar mozdonyok

The Hungarian Royal State Iron, Steel and Machine Works (MÁVAG) produced the 424 series steam locomotive from 1924. Designed by Béla Kertész, it underwent several modifications over time. The locomotive served from the 1920s until 1984, when passenger steam traction ended. It was gradually replaced by diesel and electric locomotives in the 1960s. Of 514 units produced until 1958, only two remain operational today: No. 424-247 and 424-009. The 424 series is considered the most successful and also the strongest (hence it’s nickname “Bull“) Hungarian steam locomotive.

MÁV 424 series steam locomotive near Tapolca. Photo: MTI / Máthé Zoltán

On the Budapest-Balatonfüred-Tapolca and Keszthely-Tapolca lines, a total of 12 retro locomotives hauled 8 trains.

Volánbusz, the state coach service provider, joined the trains arriving from Budapest and transported passengers between Siófok (southern shore of Lake Balaton) and Balatonfüred (northern shore) with a green Ikarus 55 bus from Kaposvár (Somogy County, Southwestern-Hungary) and an Ikarus 266 nostalgia buses.

The Ikarus 55. Photo: volanbusz.hu

The green Ikarus 55 Lux had been manufactured in 1967 and was first owned by the Ikarus plant in Székesfehérvár (Central-Hungary). In 2000, Kapos Volán had bought it in dilapidated condition from a farmers’ cooperative, and it was restored and put into service in 2001. Nearly 20 years later, it underwent a complete renovation again, as part of the Volán’s Value Recovery Program launched in 2020. Since then, the vehicle had been an important participant in numerous events and exhibitions.

Restored to its original condition, the Ikarus 266 bus had been built in 1978, also in Székesfehérvár. The vehicle was originally used by Kapos Volán. The coach had undergone a complete chassis replacement in the 1990s and a complete overhaul in 2014. It was then given the typical “Volán yellow” livery instead of the previous green and white, and the iconic “Volán snail” logo was also reintroduced.

The Ikarus 266. Photo: volanbusz.hu

During the summer, Volánbusz and MÁV offers a number of nostalgic services. More information on the company’s social media pages.

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Via MTI; Featured Image: MTI / Máthé Zoltán

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