Shiny new trams should be rolling around Hungary’s capital just over one year from now, as Spanish railway-manufacturing giant CAF has just announced that it will produce 26 state-of-the-art streetcars for Budapest’s BKK public-transport company at a cost of €55 million. This is the second streetcar fleet built for Budapest by CAF, after a 2014 deal resulted in our city receiving 47 vehicles now in daily use. These include some of the world’s longest trams that serve line 1. Five of the same lengthy models will be included with this new order, with the first shipment expected in February 2019.
According to a recent CAF press statement, the Basque manufacturers will supply Budapest’s BKK system with 26 new low-floored trams with an operating speed of 50 km/h, similar to the CAF streetcars already in operation on some urban rail lines since 2016. This new order will include 21 five-carriage vehicles and five nine-carriage vehicles – ranking among the world’s longest trams – with passenger capacities of 326 and 562.
Currently we have no information about which tramlines will feature the new CAF rolling stock projected to start arriving in February of 2019. While CAF’s low-floored design eases access for passengers with reduced mobility or anyone pushing prams, if the new streetcars will be assigned to Budapest tram routes not yet modified to accommodate this model, we can expect tram-platform reconstruction projects to begin in the upcoming months.