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Leave-taking of the UVs of route 19 part 1
Pictures and videos before and after the change

I wouldn't like to sound too dramatic, but the replacement of the UVs of route 19 for Ganz articulated trams was a sad change for me. UVs only came to this service in 1978 - as a replacement for the Ganz articulated cars that went to replace the UVs on the Grand Boulevard services 4 and 6. Now those artics were replaced there by the Combinos, so they returned (not necessarily the same cars, but the same type) here. But because I don't really remember the artics on route 19 (I was too young), this service was always connected to the UVs in my thoughts. The way they screeched in the narrow underpass at the Chain Bridge (Lánchíd), or how they accelerated on the Danube embankment at the feet of the Castle Hill, amidst a rich alley of old trees - this was definately one of the most photogenic tram routes in Budapest!

For me the classic unit of route 19 was the triple-set: two motorcars with an unpowered, 2-axle trailer between them. This configuration was abandoned in the late eighties on this line, but it was restored in 2001. The last months of UV operation however brought the lack of a trailer again, so on most of these pictures you will only see a double-set (two coupled motorcars).

I'll start this pictorial with some night shots, taken in Bartók Béla út at Bertalan Lajos utca, and Döbrentei tér, with the majestically illuminated Chain Bridge in the back.

Although this section around Döbrentei tér was only built in the sixties (until then the tracks have circled this area from the other way around, via Attila út and Apród utca), it looks historical enough.

And now some motion pictures: falling leaves on the tracks impede current return badly, which results in small sparks between the rail and the wheels.

Remark: To save webspace, these small videos are hosted on They might take some time to load, while you might only see an empty area as a place-holder. To play the videos, you must click once on the player applet to get it activated, and then again ("PLAY"), to get it started.

After Döbrentei tér we move forward to Várkert rakpart...

... and afterwards to the underpass under the bridgehead of the Chain Bridge. This is a very interesting section...

... soo I took videos of it...

... from several angles :)

The underpass is short, but it's steep, and the bends are tight, so it's pretty much like a scenic reailway or a roller-coaster.

This is the stop Clark Ádám tér, with a small portion of the Chain Bridge in the background.

Halász utca, and the terminus at Batthyány tér. And now let's see this backwards...

... in the sunlight! :)

The yellow livery almost jumps off the pictures in the early morning sunshine! (Locations: Bem József rakpart and at the Chain Bridge)

The trees on Várkert rakpart can make for wonderful backgrounds in the autumn.

Less trees and more houses as we head southwards.

The stop at Szent Gellért tér. Despite what I said above, I spotted one triple-set during the last week of UV operation (to the right)!

Sunset lights at Kosztolányi Dezső tér and moist darkness on Várkert rakpart.

On the "last" weekend, the line was operated with spare triple-sets of route 49. The therefore surplus double-sets were transported to depots on the pest side: Ferencváros and Zugló. I managed to catch the double-set 3313+3868 on Krisztina körút near Déli pályaudvar...

... and 3866+3422 near Dózsa György tér on route 18.

As a bit of foretaste, I also saw a Ganz artic doing rounds on route 19...

... but it wasn't a scheduled car, just a training ride for the drivers.

UV triple-sets at the Döbrentei tér junction, with the Elisabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd) and St. Gellert Hill (Gellért-hegy) in the background.

And we're again on Várkert rakpart. Sorry, I love this place too much!

The intermediate trailers are basically no UVs: they are an older construction, built well before the UVs, and of course they are no bogie cars, but very simple 2-axle vehicles. Despite, they are being used together with UVs since 1957, so they deserve at least one picture on their own. Here, trailer number 6040 at Batthyány tér. This car always gets in front of my lense, I think this is the one I have the most photos of of them all. Just for the historical record, here's a picture of it taken in the fifites, in a -2axle motor+trailer+trailer configuration (from the website). The characteristic wooden seats are normally painted black-brown, but this one was repainted recently in a different way.

Next page: last day of the UVs, first day of the Ganz artics on route 19

© Ákos Endre VARGA, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.

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