Hungary entered into WW2 relatively late, in 1941 but until 1943 the Hungarian war efforts remained rather moderate. Even non military purpose development was performed this time, like a new passenger electric locomotive, Class V44. However large amount of German military purpose transport was carried through Hungarian territory. The oil transport from Romania to Germany used the Hungarian trackage. As dual track was only available between Germany and East-Hungary, the Germans decided to build up a "roundabout" in Transylvania: the east bound empty tank trains went on the Nagyvárad (Oradea) - Kolozsvár (Cluj)- Brasov - Ploesti line, while the westbound heavy tank trains came through the Craiova - Petroseny - Arad - Békéscsaba line. The meeting point was Szajol, east of Szolnok. Of course this line, mainly the stations and the Budapest Southern Connecting Bridge, where the German oil trains crossed the river Danube, were constantly attacked and bombed by the RAF and USAF squadrons. According the MÁV reports, the US bombers performed a more exact "job": they destroyed the switch groups on both sides of the stations, disabling the traffic this way, but very rarely hit the station buildings. After the RAF attacks not only the buildings were severely damaged, but often the living estates of railway people around - sometimes leaving intact the right of way itself.
March 19th 1944 the Germans occupied Hungary and transformed the economy and the railways to serve the German Reich. When the Red Army drove out the Germans and occupied Hungary for the Soviet Union, the railway system was totally ruined and all road and rail bridges destroyed.
During the war the new equipment manufacturing decreased. MÁVAG and the other manufacturers were occupied by reparation of the damaged rolling stock. Instead of developing a "war engine" a large number of the well performing Class 424 was built.
As new development for the electrified Budapest-Hegyeshalom line a fast electric loco, Class V44 was developed. This had already single wheel drive 3-phase traction motors and incorporated a frequency converter besides the phase converter. Two prototypes were built, one of them made apr. 60000km (37,500miles) on trials, but during the bombardements of the Ganz workshops they were destroyed on the factory yard. Their reparation was impossible after the war.
Besides locomotives a long-range DMU was developed by Ganz, the Class "Hargita" train. Also a local diesel railcar was in development phase.
The "Hargita" carbody survived, and was completed in 1948. One of the trainsets was confiscated by the Soviets, and it became the basis for the later Ganz developments for the Soviet "market". The local diesel railcar's diesel-mechanical engine unit was stored for a longer time, and it was used for the later railcar design in 1955.
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This page was updated last time on 24th September 1998
© János Erö