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Hungarian State Railways Announce Total Closure of Budapest - Vienna Line?

This popped up in my news feed this morning, Daily News Hungary - I have no idea if this is a solid resource or not, but if this is correct, it presents some problems for my upcoming trip. I have an open jaw ticket flying into Budapest on October 11 and departing out of Prague later next month. We were planning on going by rail and hitting Vienna on the way.

I'd imagine renting a car would not only be a big hassle in the cities we're going to but would also likely be ridiculously expensive to pick up in one country and drop off in another, if that is even possible.

Does anyone know what other options we might have?

Posted by
6659 posts

Take the train. They will most likely be rerouted. Otherwise Flixbus connects the two cities.

Posted by
18775 posts

Apparently there will br some spotty disruption. I looked at it a few days ago and it was a tough read. But my impression was tge thru trains are running unchanged. Some of the trains with stops are being put on busses for a segment of the trip. But the bus is part of your train ticket. Check the mav site, or worry less and take a bus.

Posted by
31 posts

Bus is an option, though reading the reviews is not encouraging. Do you suppose the route from Budapest to Bratislava might be unaffected, by chance?

Posted by
6707 posts

I can not possibly imagine that a major international route like this will be closed without either diversions or rail replacement road transport being provided.

There must also be inter city bus services on such a route between two major capital cities.

Unless it has ceased there also used to be a ferry service along the Danube between Vienna and Budapest.

Posted by
31 posts

Thanks, folks. I probably over-panicked a bit when I saw the news this morning. It was just kind of unexpected. We'll see what happens when we get there. A ferry actually sounds like an interesting option; I hadn't even considered it. I'll see if I can find out more, thanks.

Thanks Mr. E, will keep an eye on the MAV website, then.

I realize that I'm probably vastly over-romanticizing things here, but a trip by rail through Europe just seems much more appealing than hopping on a budget bus.

I get that the method of getting from point A to B is less important than arriving at point B, but still.

Posted by
6707 posts

I absolutely get the romance of European train travel. While Prague station may be modern, it still is possible to see the old station straight above. And I do think that arriving or departing from Budapest Keleti has a deep romance (almost a mystery), about it. It is one of the grand stations of Europe in my eyes. Part of that is seeing the consists of train cars from all over Eastern and Western Europe, especially the night trains to exotic destinations.

Before 2015 (when the new Vienna Hauptbahnhof opened) Vienna West was truly special in that regard with it's range of night services. I think the most I ever counted was the cars of six eastern european countries in one consist- a train that divided several times in it's journey.

Posted by
6659 posts

I realize that I'm probably vastly over-romanticizing things here, but
a trip by rail through Europe just seems much more appealing than
hopping on a budget bus.

Maybe, but trains are more comfortable. More space to move around, better seats, larger bathrooms. And it you take a Railjet, a nice restaurant car as well.

Posted by
6707 posts

Sadly the ferry, at this time of year, only runs from Vienna to Bratislava at 9am each day, with extra weekend departures- on Twin City liners.
There is a special pre Christmas package holiday trip from Vienna to Budapest on 11 December.

Posted by
18775 posts

Changes on the Győr main line

Sunday 17 September 2023, 16.43 / Last modification: Sunday 24 September 2023, 19.26
Replacement buses run between Tatabánya and Budaörs instead of passenger trains
From the beginning of the renovation of the section of the Budapest-Tatabánya-Győr-Hegyeshalom main line between Biatorbágy and Szárliget, on September 18, the train schedule will be significantly changed. In the first stage of the planned three-month track closure until October 26, our passengers will have to expect longer travel times, trains running on shorter routes and replacement buses.

On the section affected by track maintenance during the day, only one passenger train will run in each direction and per hour - in addition to freight trains - ensuring a direct, non-transfer connection between Vienna, Győr, Tatabánya and Budapest for domestic passengers as well. These trains do not stop between Kelenföld and Tatabánya.

In the morning, a G10 train and two passenger trains from Tatabánya provide direct access to the Southern and Eastern railway stations.

Instead of passenger trains, there will be express buses with a different stopping order and replacement buses that stop at several places between Tatabánya and Budaörs. Barrier-free, so-called low-entry buses also run instead of passenger trains in order to facilitate boarding and travel with strollers and wheelchairs.

The InterCity buses from Sopron and Szombathely run as far as Tatabánya, from there our passengers can take a direct replacement bus to Budapest Kelenföld.

It is important that those traveling on the main line in Győr do not travel out of habit, but that they inform themselves in advance.

Our passengers can find out about the changes and the flights recommended for travel on the website www.mav.hu/egyesvonal , which is constantly updated with detailed information, timetables and maps.

The modified timetables are already available on our online interfaces (MÁV app, ELVIRA) from Saturday. In the case of individual flights, the timetable search engine also indicates the replacement bus.

After the first phase of the track renovation, railway traffic will be suspended on both tracks for three weeks from October 27, i.e. main line 1 between Biatorbágy and Szárliget will be completely closed.

You can read about it here: https://www.mavcsoport.hu/mav-csoport/koszonet-utasoknak-vartnal-gyorsabban-kialakult-gyori-fovonal-ideiglenes-kozlekedesi

MÁV Zrt. Communications Directorate

Posted by
31 posts

Thanks again Mr. E, you're the best. I've been reading your posts here with great interest. You've given me a lot of ideas for the trip. Very much appreciate all your contributions here.

Posted by
31 posts

To update - we were able to travel by rail without any issue whatsoever from Keleti in Budapest to Vienna Hbf.

We did end up getting delayed for some reason for about an hour and a half on the way to Prague, but I'll be damned if I can figure out why. It sounded like the person announcing things had borrowed their PA gear from a Burger King drive-through.