From March Kárpát Railways is standing for port reserves and serving Paks when needed.
Just recently, Kárpát Railways’ Jenbacher gas engine was deployed both to the Dunaújváros port and Paks. Now, the reason has been unveiled: from the beginning of March the railway company took over one reserve unit of Dunaújváros, notably Sergei, from Start to run between the port and the Danube bank at Adony and serve some of the remaining runs to Paks from time to time. According to the plans, the area will be served by Kárpát Railways’ Ludmilla, which is currently under refurbishment in Sopron, still a traction solution for freight trains needs to be provided until the power engine becomes available. So on Friday, Kárpát made a debut in Dunaújváros with NOHAB no. 022. Probably, not all the people involved had a perfect night before that, but Gunhild did away the worries: she wonderfully pulled the coal-laden cars up from the port.
The railway station of Dunaújváros and the port are linked up along a continuously descending line. In the past, this line used to run into branch-offs to Szalkszentmárton and Kunszentmiklós with military pontoon bridges added from time to time. By now, the tracks needed to cross River Danube have been fully overgrown by forests both on the Dunaújváros and Szalkszentmárton side, while a section has in fact been removed, and consequently the port track has diminished into a simple industrial siding track. On the steep section, even Sergei engines with their six live axles dashed the tracks only with 11 loaded wagons – Gunhild was expected to show the same performance. The engine with four live axles has taken the hurdle, and wonderfully towed the coal-laden wagons in groups of 11 at the required 25 km/h speed.
My personal experience: the last time I heard this elemental, beautiful noise from the engine was on board of the very first Székely Express back in 2008; this is the sound that (at least partly) makes NOHAB locomotives so popular. At that time, the M61 no. 017 was pulling the 8-carriage set, and it did have the opportunity to show off its inherent power. Now, NOHAB no. 022 was in the same situation, and I almost fell from the tree when that magnificent locomotive with the coal train lumbered under me!
Traffic at the Dunaújváros port primarily consists of coal and ores arriving aboard ships, as well as steel coils released by the ironworks for loading. Although the port does not only supply the ironworks, still the largest volume belongs to that plant. In relation to life at the port, let us just offer our earlier article that was written on an open day when our photographer was allowed to enter everywhere to have a thorough insight.
Written by Attila Vörös