MÁV Class V43

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Class V43
MAV V43-1103 02.JPG
MÁV Class V43 with Intercity train in Hungary
Specifications
Power type Electric locomotive
Builder Ganz
Build date 1963-1982
Total produced 379
UIC classification B'B'
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Length 15700 mm
Locomotive weight 80 t
Traction motors 2
Top speed 120 km/h
Power output 2200 kW
Safety systems EÉVB (hun),EVM-120, MIREL
Career

Overview[edit]

The MÁV Class V43 is a Hungarian-built electric locomotive, with a characteristic box-like appearance. It was designed and prototyped in the early 1960s, by a German consortium of 25kV/50 Hz AC rail electrification expert companies (Siemens, Thyssen-Krupp and seven smaller firms) commissioned by the Hungarian government.

It was further developed, debugged and series produced in the Ganz factory and operated by MÁV in Hungary. A total of 379 locomotives were built between 1963 and 1982 to replace the MÁV Class V40 and MÁV Class V60, as well as the widespread Class 424 steam locomotives. Nickname of the classic V43 1000 series is Szili (because it has silicon Semiconductor); V43 2000 series is Papagáj (Parrot - because of the painting); V43 3000 series is Cirmos (Tabby - also because of the paiting).

The V43 is the still the main workhorse for electric traction in Hungary. Its early generation semiconductor technology is now considered obsolete, but the type has good efficiency for both freight and passenger traction. The good efficiency is a result of a technical deficiency: the Hungarian series produced V43 examples are two tons overweight compared the German prototype owing to steel frame manufacturing differences.

This requires the locomotives to constantly work near the edge of their power reserve when pulling and efficiency is coincidentally the highest in that region. Extensive preventive maintenance procedures developed by MÁV depots allowed the V43 to serve 40+ years reliably, despite of being maxed out most of the time.

GySEV[edit]

GySEV owns 14 V43 class locomotive. GySEV equipped a few of them with PZB I60R for the operation in the Austrian lines of the company. The GySEV locos had several catastrophic crashes. V43 331 crashed at Neufeld, and V43 322 at Komárom. Both locomotives were scrapped. V43 333 crashed with V43 326, and rebuilt using the mainframe of the damaged V43 1003.

Refit[edit]

From 1999 the series had two refittment sessions. The first session refits 56 locomotives (V43 2xxx) and equipped them with digital control system to cooperate with the modernised control cars (BDt 4xx series). The second 30 locomotive (V43 3xxx) produced between 2007 and 2008. These locomotives equipped with ZWS control system to be remotely controlled from the control cars bought from DB (Bybdtee series).

Future[edit]

The V43 will be gradually replaced in MÁV service by modern Siemens Taurus locomotives since the early 2000s, but the high price of imports means only a few dozen Taurus could be acquired so far and it may take until 2025 before the entire V43 class is retired. Meanwhile a part of the fleet has received minimal upgrades to comply with EUROFIMA requirements and about half of all V43s are now equipped by modern "semi-pantograph" type catenary current collectors. From the middle of 2011 MÁV-Trakció started to change the class numbers to meet the new UIC standardizations. The V43 1xxx series changed to 431 xxx the V43 2xxx to 432 xxx and the V43 3xxx to 433 xxx.