Budapest’s Nyugati railway station during reconstruction, Source: MÁV

Roof structure of Budapest’s Nyugati railway station has been completed

Roof structure of Budapest’s Nyugati railway station has been completed

The renovated hall will be handed over on 1 September when the new school year begins

The roof structure of the hall of the Nyugati (Western) railway station, one of Budapest’s three main railway terminals, has been completed as part of the building’s overhaul, MÁV announced on Sunday.

A Facebook statement by the Hungarian public railway operator says that the scaffolding needed to build the roof structure has been demolished and professionals are currently working on the construction of the shell, while restorers are renovating the main ledge. The installation of new lighting has also begun and the safety glazing of the basilica windows is underway.

Eiffel legacy

Inaugurated way back in 1877, the imposing building was designed by Austrian architect August de Serres and built by the Eiffel Company, which leaped to global fame following the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The station boasted an innovative iron structure and people started coming from far and wide just to get a glimpse of it.    

Over the years, corrosion started creeping in, and in 1975 the state of the iron structure deteriorated to such an extent that Nyugati railway station faced the dilemma: to be demolished or reconstructed from tip to toe. Luckily, the Communist authorities chose the latter option. In the 21 century, another renovation was knocking on the door, as the 146-metre-long hall became technically outdated and the station’s 17 platform system needed expansion.

As part of the ongoing project, the roof of the train hall, the adjoining glass structures, the ticket counter hall, the fast food restaurant (billed by Lonely Planet as “the most elegant” McDonalds in the world) and six facade towers will be renovated on an area of 8 200 square metres. A modern digital passenger information system and an overhead line network will be installed together with a new glass wall at both ends of the building. The rainwater drainage system will be partially rebuilt.

Government and EU funding

MÁV is carrying out further passenger and accessibility interventions at Nyugati railway station using government and EU funds. Among other things, the station will get new pavement, the passenger areas of the crossing tunnel will be renewed, the currently inoperative elevator will be replaced, and ramps will be built to help persons with reduced mobility and impaired vision. The renovated hall will be handed over on 1 September for the beginning of the new school year.

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