Cold hours in Miskolc
It's always colder in Miskolc - located in Nort-East-Hungary, at the feet of the Bükk mountains, with most of the city itself running up to a valley - than in Budapest, or in fact most of the country. That of course is not a scientific fact, just my observation, which was reaffirmed this time, too: although forecasts promised a sunny day in Miskolc for January 30, 2011, in reality it was cloudy with wind gusts making everything feel even more chilling.
Sunshine has only lasted a short while, but fortunately I managed to photograph some of the ex-Viennese E1 trams during that time (IMHO the Viennese red on these vehicles can only be photographed nicely in sunlight, otherwise they look quite unfriendly on digital photos). Since only route 2 has reversing loops on both ends, they are used here. Unfortutately the operational permits of the matching ex-Viennese trailer cars have expired recently, so they aren't used anymore (they're stored in a yard near the entrance of the Vasgyár reversing loop - maybe they'll receive an overhaul to prolong their usage, who knows).
The narrow-gauge railway to Lillafüred and Garadna (LÁEV) is also worth a few photos. This railway originally connected the city with the forest areas of the nearby mountains, and had strong freight operations. Nowadays it's a touristic line with only a truncated network remaining. The locomotive on the photos - Mk48 2021- has been bought as a wreck from Kecskemét in 2007, and was then rebuilt. Now it's a hybrid locomotive: diesel-electric traction complemented with battery storage!
Tram line 1 is basically the east-west axle of the city, providing about one third of all public transit rides. Currently it ends in a two-track stub terminus (seen to the left) not far from the ruins of the medieval Diósgyőr castle, but extension towards Felső-Majláth is already approved (funded largely by the EU). Some houses being in the way have been already torn down, as it can be seen on the photo to the right.
A short video showing trams, buses and some narrow-gauge railway. I especially like the bit with the noises of the Tatra KT8D5 trams - these vehicles produces some very funny sounds while braking, reminding me of arcade computer games :)
Széchenyi út is the main street of the small inner city of Miskolc, and you can deduce how cold it must have been by the fact that it was almost totally empty.
To the left: an E1 at Tiszai station. To the right: the E1 are very narrow, but at the same time tram line 1 is currently upgraded to the usage of 2.65-meter-wide low-floor trams, so the platform isles were provisionally fitted with wooden slabs to span the gap.
After the lot of ex-Viennese trams, here are some Tatras! These vehicles are laaaarge, especially in contrast to the E1!
To the left: an already upgraded stop with raised platform in the inner city. To the right: this stop is still under construction.
Selyemrét is a sample stop ("mintamegálló"), with large shelters and digital informations displays. It wasn't yet complete during our visit, but I already liked it.
And that was the point when the lighting conditions and the cold got so bad that we returned to the railway station and returned to Budapest..
© Ákos Endre VARGA, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.
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