Biatorbágy Viaduct




Szabadság út / Ybl M. sétány, Biatorbágy

2051, Pest county, Hungary

Cartographic data:

The viaducts in Biatorbágy cross the broad valley of Füzes stream at a height of 20-25 meters. The northern viaduct on the right-hand side (just above the roundabout) was built in 1883-1884 during the construction of the Budapest-Kelenföld-Újszőny (now Komárom) railway line.

The bridge had a 2×40.6 m span, a continuous truss structure resting on three supports made of wrought iron, manufactured by the Resica Iron Works. Bridge spans: 38.29 m + 38.12 m +2×12 m (stone vaults at the abutments). The bridge structure had statics problems from the beginning, and in 1903, the main girders had to be strengthened. In 1934, the entire bridge structure was replaced due to the increased load. For this purpose, the 2×40 m trusses – made of converter steel – of the dismantled viaduct in Barok were utilized.
The left (southern) viaduct was built at the same time as the second track of the Budapest – Hegyeshalom line, in 1898. The left viaduct consisted of 2×41.2 m trusses made of converter steel. The material of the bridge came from Diósgyőr Iron Works, the bridge structure was made and assembled by MÁVAG. The spans of the bridge are 39.70 m + 39.70 m + 2x 10.00 m +2 x 10.00 m (limestone vaults at the abutments).

Hungary’s most famous terrorist attack is linked to the viaduct on the left-hand side. On 13 September 1931, at around 0:15 a.m., Szilveszter Matuska blew up a track on the Budapest side bridgehead under an express train traveling from Budapest to Vienna. The explosion caused the steam locomotive, the tender, the baggage car, and 5 passenger cars to fall into the abyss. As a result of the accident, 22 people were killed and many injured. The bridge structure suffered only minor damage, which was quickly repaired and traffic on the left-hand-side viaduct was able to resume three weeks later.

Following the electrification of the Budapest-Hegyeshalom railway line in 1931-1932, the structures of the Biatorbágy viaducts had to be strengthened. This was done in 1941. The bridges were strengthened by a rarely used method, using a parabolic arch placed under the main trusses. In 1944, towards the end of the Second World War, retreating German troops attempted to blow up the viaducts, but fortunately, this did not happen due to the rapid advance of Soviet troops and the sacrifices of the bridge guards.
In the 1960s and 70s, the modernization of the Budapest-Hegyeshalom railway line necessitated the construction of larger-radius railway curves (at least 900m), instead of the existing 300-400m-radius curves. This was economically feasible by marking out a new track, which led to the end of passenger traffic on the viaducts in 1977 followed by the cessation of the reduced freight traffic in 1979.

The right-hand-side viaduct is now used as a footbridge and lookout while the left-hand-side viaduct is closed.

Contemporary gallery

Károly Teleki, 2021

Historical gallery

Photos from Fortepan photo archive