BP mayor denies alleged switch-out of metro cars

Automotive

Russia’s Metrowagonmash sent refurbished metro cars to Budapest and not new ones, Budapest Mayor István Tarlós said on Friday, in response to allegations that Metrowagonmash sent out-of-date, but unused, cars in apparent violation of their contract, which calls for fixing up old train cars, according to reports.

The prototype of the subway cars being delivered to Budapest from Metrowagonmash on May 25. (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Máthé)

Tarlós said that, though most of the parts on the train are new, “not all of them” are, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. It can legally be said that the train sent to Hungary was renovated and was not delivered from a warehouse as a new one, Tarlós added, according to MTI.

Hungarian news daily Népszabadság reported on June 2 that, according to an unnamed source, Metrowagonmash won a tender to do refurbishing work. But instead of renewing the old cars, the report said, Metrowagonmash gave Budapest outdated subway cars that were sitting in a warehouse and have never been used. According to reports, the cars Budapest received are older models, and the refurbished cars would have been more up-to-date. The reports speculate that Budapest never would have accepted these cars if they were offered in a competitive tender as new subway carriages.

Tarlos said the metro cars that Metrowagonmash supplied are not technically new ones. He explained that the tender conditions never stipulated a limit on the number of parts that could be changed, MTI reported, adding that authorities have said there was no violation of the law and he believes switching out the trainsʼ undercarriage assemblies poses no problem.

After allegations in the news emerged, Tarlós, in an interview with origo.hu, said he was not aware that the Russian company Metrowagonmash had given Budapest new subway cars for the M3 Metro instead of refurbishing the old ones – and added that it shouldn’t matter.

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