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The Budapest Metro (Hungarian: Budapesti metró) is the rapid transit system in the Hungarian capital Budapest. It is the oldest underground railway system in continental Europe, and is only pre-dated by the London Underground. It is the world's oldest underground, where electric power was used instead of the traditional (British) steam powered subway system. Budapest's iconic Line 1 was completed in 1896.
The M1 line became an IEEE Milestone due to the radically new innovations in its era: "Among the railway’s innovative elements were bidirectional tram cars; electric lighting in the subway stations and tram cars; and an overhead wire structure instead of a third-rail system for power." Since 2002, the M1 line was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
Siemens-Halske, Budapest metro museum
|Official name||Andrássy Avenue and the Underground|
|Part of||Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue|
|Criteria||Cultural: (ii), (iv)|
|Inscription||1987 (11th session)|
|Area||57.85 ha (0.2234 sq mi)|
|Buffer zone||239.61 ha (0.9251 sq mi)|
Planning for Line 3 began in 1963 and construction started in 1970 with help of Soviet specialists. The first section, consisting of six stations, opened in 1976. It was extended to the south in 1980 with five additional stations, and to the north in 1981, 1984, and 1990, with nine additional stations. With a length of approximately 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) and a total of 20 stations, it is the longest line in Budapest.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Line 1 underwent major reconstruction. Of its 11 stations, eight are original and three were added during reconstruction. The original appearance of the old stations has been preserved, and each station feature displays of historical photographs and information. There is also a Millennium Underground Museum in the Deák Ferenc Square concourse.
The metro consists of four lines (M1–M4), each denoted by a different colour. M1 (yellow) Földalatti runs from Mexikói út south-west towards the river. The M2 (red) line travels east–west through the city, crossing the Duna. The M3 (blue) runs in a broadly north–south alignment, interchanging with the three other lines. The M4 (green) line commences at Keleti pályaudvar and travels south-west, crossing the river, to terminate at Kelenföld vasútállomás.
|Line||Color||Name and Route||Year of opening||Length
(Vörösmarty tér ↔ Mexikói út)
(Déli pályaudvar ↔ Örs vezér tere)
(Újpest-Központ ↔ Kõbánya-Kispest)
(Keleti pályaudvar ↔ Kelenföld vasútállomás)
Metro line M1
Line 1 runs northeast from the city center on the Pest side under Andrássy út to the Városliget, or City Park. Like Metro 3, it does not serve Buda. Line 1, the oldest of the metro lines operating in Budapest, has been in constant operation since 1896. There are plans for the future for a resurrection with more stations.
Metro line M2
Line 2 runs east–west from Déli pályaudvar in Buda's Krisztinaváros, through the city center, to Örs vezér tere in eastern Pest. It offers connections to Hungarian State Railways at Déli and Keleti pályaudvars, to metro Lines 1 and 3 at Deák Ferenc tér, to line 4 at Keleti pályaudvar, to suburban railway lines 8 and 9 at Örs vezér tere, and to suburban railway line 5 at Batthány tér. Prior to line 4's opening, it was (for more than 45 years) the only metro line that served the Buda side of the river. Line 2 underwent major reconstruction in the late oughts, with all of the track and stations completed in 2008.
Metro line M3
Line 3 runs in a north–south direction (more exactly, from north-northeast to southeast) on the Pest side of the river and connects several populous residential areas with the Inner City. It has a transfer station with Line 1 and Line 2 at Deák Ferenc tér, and a transfer station for Line 4 at Kálvin tér. It is the longest line in the Budapest Metro, its daily ridership is estimated at 610,000.
Metro line M4
Line 4 runs southwest–northeast from Kelenföldi pályaudvar in Buda's Kelenföld neighborhood to Keleti Railway Station in Józsefváros. With a length of 7.4 kilometres (4.6 mi), it connects to Hungarian State Railways at its termini, to the metro's Line 3 at Kálvin tér, and to Line 2 at Keleti. Line 4 was completed in March 2014 and comprises ten stations.
Metro line M5
The Purple Line 5 is a proposed north–south railway tunnel to connect the currently separated elements of the suburban rail network, namely the H5, H6 and H7 HÉV-lines, and optionally the Budapest-Esztergom and Budapest-Kunszentmiklós-Tass railway lines. Currently the project does not have mainstream political support, only included in long-term plans. The first phase (planned until 2030) would be the extension and connection of the southern H6 and H7 lines to the Astoria metro station via the Kálvin tér, thus connecting these lines to the metro lines M2 M3 and M4. The second phase would create a connection to the metro line M1 as well at the Oktogon, the M3 at Lehel tér then cross the Danube to the Buda side to connect the H5 HÉV towards Szentendre.
Tickets and transfer system
In popular culture
2003 film Kontroll is a gritty crime thriller set in the metro system, winning various awards.
- Mátyás Jangel (September 2010). "Közszolgáltatási szerződés, utasjogok, a szolgáltatástervezés és ellenőrzés folyamata a kötöttpályás helyi- és elővárosi közforgalmú közlekedésben" [Public service contract, passenger rights, service planning and monitoring process of local and suburban public transport rail] (in Hungarian). BKV Zrt. Közlekedési Igazgatóság [Directorate of Public Office. Transport]. pp. 10 (and 3). Archived from the original (pdf) on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2015-04-19. Metro usage per day – Line 1: 120,000; Line 2: 405,000; Line 3: 630,000. (Line 4 began operations in 2014, with a 110,000 ridership estimated by Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK) based on the latest year.)
- "Magyarország, 2017" [Hungary, 2017] (pdf) (in Hungarian). Központi Statisztikai Hivatal [Central Statistics Bureau]. 2018-04-15. p. 173. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
- Siemens.com Budapest Line 4
- Jennifer Walker (19 December 2018). "Budapest M1: Inside continental Europe's oldest metro network". CNN. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- "World Heritage Committee Inscribes 9 New Sites on the World Heritage List". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Archived from the original on November 28, 2009.
- "Our thematic route with... - Sightseeing along the line of Millennium Underground Railway". BKV Zrt. Retrieved 2013-10-18.
- Budapest’s Electric Underground Railway Is Still Running After More Than 120 Years 
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre. "UNESCO World Heritage Centre – World Heritage Committee Inscribes 9 New Sites on the World Heritage List". whc.unesco.org. Archived from the original on 28 November 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Robert Schwandl. "Budapest". UrbanRail.net. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
- Robert Schwandl. "Line M1 Vörösmarty tér - Mexikói út". UrbanRail. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
- Robert Schwandl. "Line M2 Déli pályaudvar - Örs vezér tere". UrbanRail. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
- Robert Schwandl. "Line M3 Újpest-Központ - Kõbánya-Kispest". UrbanRail. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- Robert Schwandl. "Line M4 Keleti pályaudvar- Kelenföld vasútállomás". UrbanRail. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
- "M1-es metró korszerűsítése és meghosszabbítása - Budapesti Közlekedési Központ". Budapesti Közlekedési Központ (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2017-10-01.
- Budapest City Atlas, Dimap-Szarvas, Budapest, 2011, ISBN 978-963-03-9124-5
- Metro4 - How does it work?
- "Automated metro Line M4 opens in Budapest". Railway Gazette. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Balázs Mór plan, long term service development plans of the BKK
- (in Hungarian) https://tldr.444.hu/2018/03/12/mar-milliardokert-uzemeltetjuk-budapesten-az-elektronikus-jegyrendszert-holott-meg-el-sem-keszult
- "Budapest signed the Contract Agreement for the Automated Fare Collection system". BKK Zrt. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- (in Hungarian) https://azonnali.hu/cikk/20181129_elektronikus-jegyrendszer-felmondta-a-bkk-a-beszallitoi-szerzodest
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