The renewed southern section of metro line M3 was handed over
Budapest, Thursday, October 22, 2020 - The reconstructed southern section of metro line M3 between Nagyvárad tér and Kőbánya-Kispest was handed over on Thursday. Mayor Gergely Karácsony said at the ceremony at the renewed Határ út station that the future, the reconstruction of the middle section still raises many questions, but an important step has been taken to make metro line M3 a real 21st century service "for all Budapesters and all those to travel here ".
The mayor emphasized that metro line M3 is the busiest service of public transport in Hungary, and it is a national interest to serve the traveling public in accordance with all the expectations. Accordingly, extensive cooperation has enabled its reconstruction, he added.
A politician has to face the fact that it can happen, when someone else finishes what he started and often “inherits” decisions that mark the path of the future. There are some that are welcome, and there are some that "raise questions," but, he continued, "this is not the day we ask questions, but when we rejoice in our common success."
He said he had personally invited government representatives and his predecessor, István Tarlós, to the event. The former mayor was unable to be present due to his countryside trip, but he expressed his gratitude and joy that an important phase of the investment could be handed over, Karácsony added.
The mayor thanked the European Union and the Hungarian government for financing the renovation. He thanked the designers and constructors for their work, and he also thanked the people of Budapest for their patience.
He emphasized that the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crisis questions many of the ways in which we have lived so far. But the fact that green and sustainable urban policy is also the way of the future in cities has not become an issue, but a much stronger statement than we previously thought, Karácsony noted. He added that a green, livable city cannot be imagined without good public transport, and that the capital is committed to further developing public transport. Some of them, such as the construction of the Pest merging tram network, also serve to make up for lost capacity when the central section of metro line M3 will be renovated.
He indicated that they would carry forward the good policies of their predecessors and struggle to enforce those vehicle procurement opportunities for which the capital has a valid contract. He cited the purchase of a trolleybus as an example, for which further cooperation from the government is requested.
Tibor Bolla, CEO of BKV Zrt., spoke about the fact that metro line M3 transports half a million people a day. Construction of the southern metro section began in 1975, meaning 45-year-old technology has now been replaced with the reconstruction.
Reconstruction of the southern section began in the spring of 2019, Bolla recalled, and made work more difficult due to the discovery of asbestos at the stations and the need to arrange deliveries amid the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, the planned work was completed on time, he said.
Passengers will be able to travel on the reconstructed section from 5 pm on Thursday afternoon. Subway cars run on the entire line from Újpest-központ to Kőbánya-Kispest until November 6, but they will not stop at the previously closed stations in the middle section (Arany János utca, Ferenciek tere, Corvin-negyed and Semmelweis Klinikák).
During the reconstruction, the Népliget, Ecseri út, Pöttyös utca and Határ út stations became clean and modern, and more comfortable. At the four stations, 7,200 square feet of new wall coverings were replaced and 6,700 square feet of floor tiles was renewed. The passenger areas of the stations has been completely reconstructed, a unified passenger information system has been built, modern lighting is provided by 1563 new LED luminaires and 364 new speakers have been installed. 225 cameras have been installed in the passenger areas of the stations to increase safety.
The stations have a fire protection system in accordance with the latest regulations, as well as modern ventilation, heat and smoke extraction systems. In addition to the passenger areas, the service areas were also renewed. The length of the new power cables to supply the electrical equipment reach 355 kilometers.
As part of the reconstruction, the railway track has been completely rebuilt, hardened rails have been installed, with denser moorings than before, so the new track can withstand the stress for a longer time and the noise and vibrations generated by vehicles will also be reduced. 5.7 kilometers of tracks were replaced, 26 detour sections were rebuilt.
The reconstruction of the southern section will continue until the end of 2021 with the implementation of full accessibility: the lifts have already been installed at Határ út and Népliget stations, and the preparatory works are underway on Pöttyös utca and Ecseri út.
Reconstruction work will soon continue on the middle section of metro line M3.
Pictures of the event can be viewed HERE.
Photos: Mihály Nagy / Magyar Építők