Hungarian Railways focuses on hybrid trains
Hungarian national railway operator MÁV-Start intends to purchase 50 hybrid trains. They will be able to power from both overhead wires and built-in batteries. With the help of new vehicles, MÁV-Start will improve its regional services and will complete several electrification projects without disruptions for the passengers.
The first hybrid battery-electric trains could be introduced on the Hungarian railway network in 2023. MÁV-Start intends to purchase 20 hybrid trains with a seating capacity for 200 passengers, they should be supplied in 2023-2024. Other 30 hybrid vehicles will have 150 seats in each. The future supplier should produce and deliver them in 2024-2029.
According to tender specification, all the vehicles must be able to run on both electrified routes using 25-kilovolt alternating current at 50 hertz and non-electrified lines. With these hybrid trains, the Hungarian operator will move further in implementation of environmentally friendly solutions on its network as well as will improve its energy-saving policy.
MÁV-Start plans to operate the new hybrid trains on several routes. “As long as the line along the northern shore of Lake Balaton has been electrified only to Balatonfüred, half of the 20 vehicles to be purchased in the first phase would run on Line 29 (Székesfehérvár–Tapolca),” CEO of MÁVRóbert Homolya said.
The other possible route is the Budapest-Lajosmizsei line. “Here, a complex reconstruction could take place together with electrification divided into several phases, which means that modern hybrid vehicles could travel even when overhead wires will be only on a section of the track,” he added. Moreover, the Hungarian company plans to use the hybrid trains on several regional routes: Győr – Szombathely, Miskolc – Ózd, Esztergom – Komárom, Győr – Keszthely – Kaposvár – Pécs and Szolnok – Hatvan – Somoskőújfalu.
As for the potential suppliers, all main rolling stock manufacturers in Europe could offer MÁV-Start its own battery-electric trains. For instance, ÖBB, the national operator in nearby Austria, has successfully tested the Cityjet eco train produced by Siemens Mobility. The mentioned vehicle is battery-electric, therefore, it is able to run on both electrified and non-electrified routes. Siemens Mobility could offer another hybrid train – Mireo Plus.
Swiss manufacturer Stadler Rail has its own product. It is the Akku battery-powered vehicles based on the popular Flirt train family. This type will be introduced in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. As for Alstom, this company produces its Coradia Continental battery-electric trains for German customers.