Recent reports by travellers following Route 40 in Europe by Rail highlight temporary changes to rail services on one of the principal routes linking Hungary with Romania. The upcoming October 2012 edition of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable highlights the full impact of these changes, which look set to continue until 18 October.
The route affected is the main Budapest – Biharkeresztes – Oradea axis which carries four daily international trains from Hungary to Romania. These trains all continue beyond Oradea to provide direct links from Budapest to Transylvania (and are, presumably, therefore well patronised by vampires). The changes detailed below apply up to and including Thursday 18 October.
The Corona overnight train from Budapest to Brasov via Oradea and Cluj-Napoca and vice versa is diverted between Püspökladány (Hungary) and Episcopia Bihor (Romania). Instead of taking the 64-km direct route, the Corona makes a big loop to the north via Debrecen, crossing into Romania at Nyírábrány.
The Corona departure time from Budapest is thus temporarily one hour earlier than normal (so at 16.40) and arrival into Brasov is two hours later than normal. That may all sound a tad slow, but the Corona has a decent restaurant car (one of the few that have not been axed by Hungarian operator MÁV). So sit back and enjoy the ride. And, if you are really keen to get to Brasov more quickly there are other overnight services from Budapest that are totally unaffected by the engineering works on the track west of Oradea. These alternative services have always taken a much more southerly route through Arad. They are shown in Table 1280 of the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable.
The three daytime InterCity services from Budapest to Oradea and beyond are all replaced in part by buses. This affects the following trains:
For these daytime links, passengers must take one of the regular hourly trains from Budapest to Püspökladány, connecting there onto a rail-replacement bus service across the border into Romania, and picking up the onward train at either Episcopia Bihor or Oradea. Details are shown in the MÁV-START Elvira Journey Planner.
Daytime cross-border trains from Hungary to Arad in Romania (and beyond) are not affected. These trains take a more southerly route.
About The Authors
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
Nicky and Susanne manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers and the authors of the book Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide. The 17th edition of that book will be published in mid-April 2022. You'll find a list of outlets that sell the book on this website.