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LMP urges railway upgrades instead of line closures

Opposition LMP advocates railway upgrades and renovation instead of shutting down lines, party MP Bernadett Bakos said at a press conference on Sunday.

Bakos said the government had shut down ten spur lines from August and was weighing the closure of a further seven, while replacing passenger rail service with buses that were “much less comfortable and use far more energy”.

She suggested a shortage of rolling stock could be remedied, for a ten-year transitional period, with the purchase of used diesels for 20 billion forints (EUR 52m).

Bakos pointed to “hundreds of billions of forints” of support for battery factories even though electric vehicles “won’t solve transportation problems” and said the government was sending a message to youth to drive, rather than take the train, by subsidising drivers education.

Government policies have “forced” people to rely on cars, raising the number of vehicles on Hungarian roads by a million over ten years, putting a big burden on the environment, she said.

Everywhere else in Europe, spur lines are being renovated, as railways are the “foundation of green transportation policy”, she added.

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