Green Future for Narrow Gauge Railways – Vision and Reality in Hungary

4th International Conference on Road and Rail Infrastructure (CETRA 2016)

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Title Green Future for Narrow Gauge Railways – Vision and Reality in Hungary
Creator Csaba Orosz; associate professor, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Highway and Railway Engineering
Dora Bachmann; Transinvest-Budapest Ltd. Engineering Office
Subject narrow gauge railways; policy; tourism; infrastructure development
Description The history of narrow gauge railways starts at 1870 in Hungary. The first lines were constructed for industrial purposes: timber and stone delivery in forests, local logistic services in mines and in agriculture. Later narrow gauge railways began to have a role in regional and suburban transport too. Six thousand km long lines of such railways operated financially efficiently by 1914. Similar trends were Austria, Germany or Scotland. The nature of traffic began to change after 1920; public passenger transport gained more importance. After 1945 reconstruction supported the recovery of the agricultural sector. After 1968 many railway lines have been closed by political decision. For 2015 Hungary had 29 separate lines and companies with a total length of 503 km. (24 lines – 224 km are in operation.) The main present function of these “light railways” is green tourism. Only two forestry rail lines deal with freight transport. We have some 3800 passengers/day, 1,3 million passengers annually. [5000 to 380000 per company.] Currently operation is co-financed by “cross-financing subsidy” of the owner and/ or the state. The Hungarian Co-ordination Centre for Transport [“KKK”] ordered a study concerning that topic in 2015. Our team has studied the present situation in the field of regulation, funding and investment. After consultations with local rail companies development proposals were collected. Finally we made some ranking concerning realistic proposals. The main considerations were: a) improvement of narrow gauge railways connected to tourism and to regional development objectives; b) green education for future generations. Introducing the Industrial Heritage to families, to “rail fanatic people”; c) promoting public service, enhancing competitiveness; d) better system performance facilitating “intermodal connections”.
Publisher CETRA 2016
Contributor Hungarian Transport Administration as customer of the study
Date 2017-02-28 15:16:30
Type Peer-reviewed Paper
Source CETRA 2016; 4th International Conference on Road and Rail Infrastructure
Language en
Rights Authors who submit to this conference agree to the following terms:<br /> <strong>a)</strong> Authors retain copyright over their work, while allowing the conference to place this unpublished work under a <a href="">Creative Commons Attribution License</a>, which allows others to freely access, use, and share the work, with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and its initial presentation at this conference. <br /> <strong>b)</strong> Submitted full papers will be published in the book of proceedings "Road and Rail Infrastructure IV" as well as in digital form (on a CD). Conference organiser is allowed to publish author's names, institution and country as well as the paper abstract on the conference web site.

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