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Budapestʼs Keleti station to close for two weeks

Budapestʼs Keleti (Eastern) railway station will close for maintenance for two weeks from Monday, May 13, a spokesman for state-owned railway company MÁV said on Thursday.

Trains will be rerouted to and from other stations in the capital, and buses will replace some services. MÁV is coordinating changes to the routes with the Budapest Public Transport Center (BKK) to ensure passengers can make transfers to reach their destinations. Train tickets and passes will be valid on some tram lines.

MÁV is informing passengers of the changes with signs and online at elvira.mav-start.hu and www.mav.hu/keleti (in English here), as well as using MÁVʼs Vonatinfo smartphone application.

"It is a huge task to exclude such a major railway station from the service market and to plan a passenger-friendly schedule for this period," said a MÁV statement. "Using the maximum capacity of the Nyugati [Western] and Déli [Southern] railway stations, as well as the stations in the peripheral districts, the railway company has compiled a schedule that will satisfy a number of connection and passenger needs, aligning it with the traffic system introduced for the renovation period."

During the two weeks, the railway track will be improved on the entire network of the station, said MÁV. Passenger platforms will get a new asphalt pavement throughout the hall; maintenance works will be performed on the overhead line network of the entire station, including safety devices, power supply, and lighting; a new passenger information LED board will be installed in the hall; old, out-of use kiosks will be dismantled; benches, trash cans and passenger information signs will be replaced; damaged walls in the hall and passenger areas will be repaired; and green areas near the main and side entrances will be tidied and decorated with flowers.

Some 160,000 passengers with tickets and 11,000 with rail passes use Keleti station during a typical two-week period, noted state news agency MTI.