Procurement of a battery-electric fleet would allow low-floor DMUs to redeployed.

HUNGARY: National passenger operator MÁV-Start has called tenders for an initial 20 bi-mode multiple-units with an option for 30 more. The trains will have to be able to operate in 25 kV 50 Hz electric mode and be capable of using battery power for up to 80 km at a speed of 100 km/h.

The winning bidder will be expected to supply 20 trainsets with 200 seats; the optional 30 sets would have 150 seats. The tender stipulates that if the options are exercise, at least five trains would be ordered.

Of the initial batch of 20, the operator intends to use 10 on the Budapest – Balatonfüred - Tapolca route, serving the popular tourist region around the northern shore of Lake Balaton. The route is currently undergoing electrification between Székesfehérvár and Balatonfüred.

MÁV-Start envisages using the other 10 trainsets on the Budapest - Lajosmizse suburban route, upgrading and electrification of which was announced by the government on August 14.

The first bi-mode trainsets are expected to enter service during 2023–24. The optional 30 could enter traffic by 2029 on longer distance routes including Győr – Szombathely and Győr – Pécs.

The introduction of a bi-mode fleet would also enable MÁV-Start to redeploy its Siemens Desiro DMUs, the only low-floor vehicles in its diesel fleet.

This is MÁV-Start’s second attempt to call tenders for the fleet, having first launched procurement in May. Updated tender notices were called on August 10. One notable aspect of the evaluation of the bids is that extra marks are to be awarded for designs able to operate coupled with MÁV-Start’s existing 123 Stadler Flirt EMUs.