One of the most special novelties of the renovation of metro line M3 is the installation of incline elevators designed for downtown deep-core stations. There has been no example of the use of such device in public transport in Hungary, and we do not even encounter the structure in public traffic. When designing the modernization, the solution to accessibility was the most serious challenge, because at the time of the construction of the middle section of the blue metro line, about 40 years ago, there was no expectation that a building would be accessible to everyone. However, this is not a domestic feature, it is typical both in Europe and in the world, that the designers did not anticipate that one day there will be a need to ensure barrier-free traffic back that time. The ingenuity of engineers is evidenced by the use of incline elevators, which serve to make more and more metro stations accessible in major cities around the world.
Sweden, Stockholm City Railway Station
The idea of implementing such device on the blue metro line of Budapest is not new. In the concept plan of the renovation of metro line M3 prepared in 2014, FŐMTERV Zrt. has already examined the possibility of accessibility of deep-core stations with traditional and incline elevators. It was found that the installation of conventional elevators would involve both a high construction risk and construction cost, and could only be solved with connecting corridors and transitions, which would mean a loss of time of approximately 5-10 minutes compared to escalators. In the case of incline elevators, the lack of application practice and the time-consuming need to obtain permits were seen as a risk.
Taking all the circumstances into account, a decision was made in 2016 to a partially accessibility method of the line, with the installation of traditional lifts at two stations in the downtown section: Nyugati pályaudvar and Deák Ferenc tér. The year 2018 brought a turning point. The European Commission has proposed a revision of the accessibility concept to assess the grant decision, while the National Federation of Disabled Persons’ Associations (MEOSZ) has complained that only 12 stations will be accessible to all during the reconstruction of the metro line. Consultations have begun and the possibility of using the previously examined incline elevators has come up again, which was also accepted by MEOSZ.
The feasibility analysis has started. FŐMTERV Zrt. carried out a geodetic examination of the incline shafts of the escalators during the weekend track closure; passenger, traffic disaster prevention investigations, and simulations were carried out, as well as contacts were made with the companies operating and manufacturing incline elevators, and preliminary official consultations were initiated. As a result of the positive measurement results, in April 2018 the General Assembly of Budapest decided on the accessibility of the deep-core stations with incline elevators, and then in May an agreement was reached between the Municipality of Budapest and the beforementioned MEOSZ on the solution. Following the presentation of the new accessibility concept, the European Commission approved the major project grant application in July 2018, increasing the eligible costs.
The technical content of the public procurement procedure announced for the renovation of the middle section - between Lehel tér and Nagyvárad tér - already prescribed the implementation of the incline elevators. Based on the contract concluded in November 2019, the modernization started on March 7, 2020 at two downtown metro stations, in the area of Arany János utca and Ferenciek tere stops. Incline elevators are expected to meet for the first time in the spring of 2022 for passengers on metro line M3.
You can read about the history, peculiarities, operation and foreign use of the incline elevators on our website later, until then we recommend the following VIDEO for your attention.