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Passengers Threaten MÁV With Demonstration Over Dreadful Train Conditions

Péter Cseresnyés 2019.08.22.

Passengers sent a petition to the Hungarian national railway company, MÁV, on Wednesday morning, Index reports. The petitioners represent thousands of people who use the company’s trains regularly and have experienced significant quality deterioration in recent years. If there are no changes in the future they might even hold a demonstration against MÁV.

According to the petition, on many commuter trains, but especially on the Budapest Western railway station-Cegléd-Szolnok line, extreme delays (20-60 minutes) have been a recurring problem since May, so people trying to get to work on time need to leave much earlier in the morning. Another major problem is that most of the time the railway staff is similarly uninformed about the delays while conflicting information is quite frequent at the stations.

Photo via Facebook/MÁV-142

In the summertime, the heat is almost unbearable in the carriages, often above 40 degrees Celsius with no air-conditioning and windows that cannot be opened. Nobody gives out water, there is no option to cool down on the often overcrowded locomotives, and the company only advises through the speakers to get enough water for the travel period.

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According to petitioners, a compensation system should be introduced. In their opinion, the best way to reduce the delays is to make MÁV “financially feel” the disadvantages of their inaccurate work. If travel conditions do not improve, demonstrations are likely to take place.

Also, in order to improve communication of information to passengers, it is necessary to develop a system to ensure that the guide always receives the same information of traffic management in real-time and that the passengers are also informed.

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Responding to the criticisms expressed in the petition, MÁV’s press department said it would re-allocate about HUF 6 billion from MÁV’s internal source to improve the critical section between the Köki Terminal and the Western railway station. Additionally, new double-decker (named KISS) trains are coming soon, which will be much more reliable than the present worn-out locomotives; also, those will be cleaner and more powerful than the current ones.

However, critics of the company are  skeptical about the new trains “since those will use the same obsolete tracks with constantly failing safety devices, that way the only thing they will accomplish is twice as many people sitting on a stationary train at the same time.”

Featured photo via Facebook/MÁV-142