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Alstom trains to run on second metro line from end-2012, mayor says

An order of trains from French engineering giant Alstom will start running on Budapest’s number two underground line by the end of 2012, the capital’s mayor István Tarlós said at a press conference on Monday.

Tarlós was speaking a few days after experts of Hungary’s National Public Transportation Authority (NKH) approved the brakes on the trains, exempting them from Hungarian regulations.

NKH experts accepted Alstom’s technical solution for the brakes after modifications were made and the brakes were tested, clearing the way for the brakes to be issued a permit after a 4,000km test run.

Alstom asked for an exemption for the brakes because some parts were not made according to technical specification in Hungarian railway regulations. It had to demonstrate the brakes could operate with the same degree of safety as standard Hungarian brakes.

Under a contract signed in May 2006, Alstom was to deliver 22 trains for the capital’s number two metro line for EUR 150m and 15+7 trains for the fourth line, under construction at present, for EUR 114m. BKV said in October 2010 that it cancelled the contract because Alstom "failed to do all that was expected of it in the interest of fulfilling the contract".

Alstom’s application for permits for the vehicles it was to deliver was hampered because of the non-compliant brakes.

Budapest mayor István Tarlós said earlier that Hungary’s National Transportation Authority told Alstom four times in 2007 and 2008 that the brakes on the trains it was to deliver were unsuitable according to Hungarian safety rules.

The Budapest municipal council approved changes to the agreement with Alstom on the delivery of the underground trains in July and the modified contract was signed in the same month.