Lehel tér and Nagyvárad tér will be open to passengers in the early afternoon of 22 May. The two last stations to be reconstructed are stations of special structure and importance on the M3 metro line.
The reconstruction of both stations started on 14 May 2022, so they had to be renovated inside and out in one year. During the reconstruction of the M3 metro line, partial maintenance of passenger traffic was ensured throughout, as trains turned around at these two locations. The stations' diversionary role allowed them to play a key role as so-called turning stations during the reconstruction. Metro drivers would stop at the stations, change cabs on a so-called podeszt (service platform) and then head back. In the middle section, trains were turned back and forth between Újpest-központ and Lehel tér, and between Nagyvárad tér and Kőbánya-Kispest, when the deep-core stations in the middle section were upgraded.
Photo by Bence Horváth
Both stations have a unique structure on the line, with a transition between the underground and the deep-core stations. From the underpass, you arrive at a gallery level above the track, so you find yourself in a spacious passenger area, which is unusual for the narrow, low spaces of the M3 metro line.
The airy passenger compartment of the rebuilt Nagyvárad tér, which can almost be considered a work of art, is full of surprises. Warm shades try to relieve the sense of place anxiety associated with the proximity of hospitals, while artworks and an attractive row of lights decorate the large passenger space. At the station entrance, escalators provide easy access and two lifts provide barrier-free access to the platform level. From the subway, the surface is also accessible by two lifts, one to the University of Public Service and the other to the outbound side of Üllői út.
Photo by Bence Horváth
Lehel tér has also been structurally redesigned, the gallery level is no longer passable as the area will be part of the main ventilation system after the reconstruction. The steel sheet cladding running through the passenger area evokes the underground world. The raw, slightly harsh use of materials is contrasted by brightly coloured finishes, creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere in the passenger area. The distribution of orange, yellow and pink colours also helps with orientation. The second staircase has been replaced by two elevators, which provide a barrier-free connection between the platform and the underpass level. Access to the surface from the subway was already facilitated by a ramp, and the lift to be installed as part of the metro reconstruction will further improve equal access. The construction of the lift to the corner of Victor Hugo street was not included in the original plans for the reconstruction of the metro line, and therefore its design and construction started later than the renovation of the station itself. The lift will be available for passenger use from July, following the process of official approval.
Photo by Mihály Erdei / magyarepitok.hu