Alstom’s metro trainsets have begun commercial service on 28 March in Hungary on Budapest’s new underground line 4, the first automated metro line in Central-Eastern Europe. As part of the line’s official inauguration, 15 new Metropolis trainsets were put into operation by Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán and Budapest Mayor, István Tarlós on the new 7.4 km line connecting two of the city’s important railway junctions, the Kelenföld Intermodal Station of Buda with the Eastern Railway Station of Pest. These metrosets are part of the 37 Metropolis ordered for both lines 2 and 41.
The procurement of new Metropolis metro trainsets is part of Budapest’s largest ever fleet modernization and transportation development programme. Providing an efficient and comfortable metro solution to the 1 million daily passengers out of the 1.8 million citizens of Budapest represented a major challenge for the city. The decision was made to replace the fleet in operation on line 2 and to build a new automated line 4 provided with driverless rolling stock.
This is the first time that the passengers of Budapest metro will experience an automated metro, although the city’s metro system has been carrying people for 118 years. To familiarize travellers with the new system, a driver’s cabin staffed by a train supervisor will be placed at the front of the trainset during the first year of service. The wall separating the driver’s cabin from the passenger area will then be removed by Alstom technicians.
The 15 new Metropolis inaugurated for line 4 are 80m long (5 cars) and can carry 810 passengers, including 164 seated. The cars have four external wide (1.3m) sliding doors on each side, allowing passengers to access and exit the metro quicker at stations. The vehicles - capable of running 70 km/h - are single spaced enabling passengers to walk easily from one vehicle to the next inside the train if needed.
Modern lighting and a light interior combined with the warm, red tone of the carpets creates a relaxing atmosphere and a spacious traveling environment. The comfort and safety of the passengers is further enhanced by built in air-conditioning and a state-of-the-art passenger information system.
“We are very proud to deliver this automated metro to the city of Budapest, the first one in Central-Eastern Europe. This shows our expertise in conceiving metros for any type of configuration, depending on the requirements of the customer. Citizens of Budapest have been using metros for more than a century and it was an interesting challenge for us to create a state-of-the-art metro that suits their needs,” said Andreas Knitter, Alstom SVP Europe.
The new metro of Budapest was designed in France. Its traction system was manufactured in Hungary. The manufacturing of the carbody shells and the actual assembly took place in Katowice, Poland.
Alstom has been manufacturing metros for more than 70 years. One in four metros currently in service in the world is manufactured by Alstom. In total, 4,000 Metropolis cars across the world are carrying several million of passengers every day in around 45 cities such as Barcelona, Warsaw, Singapore, Shanghai, Nanjing, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile or Santo Domingo.