Szeged: knee-deep in snow
On February 2, 2012 I went to Szeged in Southern Hungary with a fellow tram enthusiast because we wanted to take photos of trams is snow, and there was just not enough snow in Budapest. It turned out we managed to catch the heaviest snowfall of the decade down there.
To our surprise the train to Szeged was towed by a 470-class (Siemens "Taurus") electric locomotive, which is not at all typical for that route. And it wasn't just any 470, it was the one decorated to celebrate the "Golden Team". On the other hand, the coaches were in an awful condition, with snow on the vestibules and in the toilettes (!), ice on the corridor windows... I wonder where they got these waggons.
But at least we arrived to Szeged, even though with considerable delay - the snowfall's gotten so heavy that the train had to stand about 15 minutes at the gates of the station while the railwaymen cleared the points. To the right we see out first Szeged tram that day: KT4D-M number 214 - ex-Potsdam 108 - at Indóház tér.
To the left: the same tram at Aradi vértanúk tere, to the right: KT4D-M number 210 - ex-Cottbus 66 - in Zrínyi utca.
There was - understandably - very low vehicular traffic, but since there were problems clearing the streets, I still felt sorry for the bus drivers (both photos taken at Dugonics tér).
From here we took a tram 3F towards Fonógyári út. To the left we see T6A2H number 906, to the right the emtpy "Great Ring Street" (more precisely: Londoni körút towards Mars tér) from the tram. Not a usual sight!
Left: the traditional ballast+sleepers trackage was covered with about 10 centimeters of snow above the top of the rail head, and it was still falling! Right: the two short lines in the snow are imprints of the tram's sliding doors :)
Anna-forrás is where tram routes 1 and 3/3F/4 cross each other. To the left we look towards Rókus pu. in Kossuth Lajos sugárút, with number 214 (again), to the right we look at KT4D-ME number 205 - ex-Potsdam 221 - on tram line 4 coming from Tarján in Tisza Lajos körút.
I don't think there was any snow-ploughing done here during the last few hours! To the right we see number 216 - ex-Potsdam 122 - coming from Széchenyi tér.
Trolley bus line 8 was operated with diesel buses, that was the only thing I could recognise being different to a normal weekend day (both photos taken at Anna-forrás).
We also took a look at route 4. To the left, the single-track stretch along Szabadkai út, looking towards Kecskés. To the right: an old Ikarus 280 heading for Mórahalom.
On the reserve track at Tarján: the "snow-breaker" Bengáli number 818 (left) and KT4D-ME number 212 - ex-Potsdam 207.
Széchenyi tér, the main square of the city looked like straight out of a fairy tale or a dream of winter wonderland...
... and when the carillon of the City Hall started to play, I really had to check if I'm still awake and not dreaming :)
It started to snow even stronger, so after a few minutes observing how the buses and trolley buses were coping with the unploughed streets, we headed for the railway station to get back to Budapest. We weren't sure if our train will be there at all, but the trip was fine, and we arrived with only a remarkably small delay.
What a day!
© Ákos Endre VARGA, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.
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