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Construction of underground sections occurred with boring shields. Tunnel walls were constructed of cast iron or reinforced concrete elements. Diameter of the tunnel of north-south line, due to economical reasons, is less than that of the east-west line. Both lines are connected by a separate tunnel at the junction of Deák Ferenc tér.

The stations have a central platform on underground sections. On other sections, the platforms are usually on the two sides. Platform length in stations is 120 meters, thus, the trains may not comprise more than 6 wagons. (Exception is the 100 meter long terminal of the east-west line, at Őrs vezér tér.)


Track alignment comprises several small radius curves on the sections constructed earlier. Thus, the smallest radius of traffic tracks is 250 m, and the highest gradient is 33%. The highest gradient is 40% only on the track connecting both lines at Deák tér, and here is the smallest radius as well, just 150 m.

Railway track of the metro is of normal gauge and is constructed on two kinds of bed. Main traffic tracks are laid on a reinforced concrete deck, except for the surface and track connection sections of the east-west line, where ballast bed is installed. Superstructure on this reinforced concrete deck is glued (without sleepers) or individual sleepers. The rails in ballast bed sections are laid on reinforced concrete sleepers. For rail fastening several models have been developed enabling flexible fastening. Power supply to the trains is ensured by steel third rail constructed as a part of the track. Current return is ensured through running rails.

Passenger and Train Traffic

In this respect, the Metro system has specific and outstanding quantitative and qualitative parameters. The number of the passengers transported or the seating capacity is extremely high with respect to other urban public transport sectors. Metro construction is justified when in the concerned cross section the travelling demand is as high as 15,000 passengers per hour per direction. With the consideration of long term demands, experts envisage to construct lines of the maximum capacity of 40,000 passengers per hour per direction.

A comparison of the traffic data of the lines in operation and Metro 4 is presented here.

Safety and Traffic Control Devices

The metro is equipped with automatic space interval system. Light signals covering the particular space intervals are controlled by the trains running on the line. The light signals involved in automatic space interval system are fitted with automatic train stopping device. Is the signal is in STOP position, and the travelling train failed to take it into consideration, an emergency braking is produced on the train passing near the signal by mechanical action.

Smaller units of the signalling and traffic control system used for local control are the station installations (in stations with track connection) and depot signalling system installations. These provide the function of automatic track route setting, control of switch engagement and setting signals to the STOP position, or even control of any call light (in case of operational defect). Central traffic control of the whole line is provided from one location, where all the above mentioned installations can be controlled and monitored, as well as the change over to manual control of station installations, the monitoring and recording of train motions is possible.

Telecommunication Installations

The work of the central traffic control operator and the personnel working on the line is facilitated and ensured by cellular phones, dispatcher network, amplifying installations, closed circuit telephone and direct telecommunication connections. A CCTV system enables the survey of passenger flow, the control of escalators and platforms. The headway measurement devices ensure the function to comply with the timetable.

Power Supply

Power supply is received from the urban network at individual transformers of the Metro system. This is where transformers and rectifiers transform the alternating current of 10 kV for traction and auxiliary operation purposes.


The vehicles are partly Soviet-made cars of 'E' type. All of them has the same structure and a driving cabin, thus, the trains can consist of an arbitrary number of cars. Central coupler ensures connection between the cars, including both mechanical and pneumatic coupling. Car bodies is made of steel plates, comprising some wooden elements as well. Longitudinal seats are located in the passenger compartment. Boarding and alighting is possible through four doors on each side of the passenger compartment. The cars are fitted with electric resistance brakes, pneumatic brakes, as well as mechanical secondary fixing brakes.


Several models of escalators are in operation in the Metro network, depending on the lifting height required at the particular location. There are 38 escalators belonging to the metro system on the 2nd (east-west) line, and 57 such escalators on the 3rd (north-south) line, respectively. Highest number of staircases in the same station occur in the Nyugati pályaudvar Station amounting to 11.

Mechanical Engineering

Continuous water supply and drainage is required in the Metro. As for surface facilities, water supply is provided from urban utility system. Water supply in running tunnels is ensured from two different systems, the urban network and a network supplied by the own system of the metro lines. This latter gains water from local wells. The ventilation of tunnels and stations is provided by the main ventilation equipment, which supply air into the tunnel, or to the surface by ventilation shafts in line sections or stations.

Maintenance Of Technical Equipment

For the time being, Metro system has two depots, where vehicles can be stored, maintained and repaired. This is where the vehicles are cleaned, cleared of dust, externally washed, then internal cleaning is performed. A hall has been constructed near the depot of east-west line where a higher level of repair works can be carried out. Lifting equipment and crane installed in the hall can be used for lifting the car from bogies for bogie replacement.

Storing, repair, renewal of various infrastructure elements is carried out in the depots. Due to the short cease of operation, only minor maintenance and defect repair works are possible in tunnels. For test runs following maintenance, repair or for other purposes one test track is available for each line.

Text: Budapesti Közlekedési Rt., Publication "The Metro in Budapest is 25 years old".