Orbán’s choo-choo train fails to draw crowds

May 24, 2016


As we reported one year ago, the Prime Minister’s Office came up with an HUF 850 million idea to build a small-gauge railway between the villages of Alcsútdoboz and Felcsút, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s childhood stomping ground,

The 5.7-kilometer rail was funded with about HUF 600 million in European Union subsidies — and it was worth every penny.

According to Vastagbőr, a well-known investigative journalism blog hosted on Átlátszó.hu, when the government came up with the genius idea of building this utterly useless short-rail in the countryside, it calculated that 2,560 people would use the train every day. Seeing as how the train commutes between Felcsút (pop. 1,688) and Alcsútdoboz (pop. 1,504), the government’s calculations may have been slightly optimistic.

As of Monday, May 23rd, twenty-two days after the short-rail’s launch, only 1,120 tickets had been purchased to ride the choo-choo-train — that’s about 55,200 tickets short of the number that should have been sold per the government’s own calculations.