Metro Line M1 (Budapest Metro)

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Metro Line M1
Budapest M1 Metro.svg
Line numberLine 1 ("Yellow metro")
TypeRapid transit
SystemBudapest Metro
Rolling stockGanz MFAV
OpenedMay 2, 1896 (1896-05-02)
Line length4.4 km
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification550 V DC
Operating speed60 km/h
Route map
Budapest M1 Metro map.png
Metro 1
Mexikói út
Széchenyi fürdő
Hősök tere
Bajza utca
Kodály körönd
Vörösmarty utca
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út
Deák Ferenc tér
BKV m 2 jms.svgBKV m 3 jms.svg
Vörösmarty tér
Detailed track map
Mexikói út
Széchenyi fürdő
Hősök tere
Bajza utca
Kodály körönd
Vörösmarty utca
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út
Deák Ferenc tér
BKV m 2 jms.svgBKV m 3 jms.svg
Vörösmarty tér

Line 1 (Officially: Millennium Underground Railway, Metro 1 or M1) is the oldest line of the Budapest Metro, it was built from 1894 to 1896. It is known locally as "the small underground" ("a kisföldalatti"), while the M2, M3 and M4 are called "metró". It is the first underground on the European mainland, and the world's third oldest underground after the London Underground and Liverpool's Mersey Railway.

Line 1 runs northeast from the city center on the Pest side under Andrássy út to the Városliget, or City Park. Like Line 3, it does not serve Buda. Its daily ridership is estimated at 80,000.[1]


Line 1 is the oldest of the metro lines in Budapest, having been in constant operation since 1896. The line was inaugurated on May 2, 1896, the year of the millennium (the thousandth anniversary of the arrival of the Magyars),[2] by emperor Franz Joseph. The original name of the operator company was "Franz Joseph Underground Electric Railway Company" ("Ferenc József Földalatti Villamos Vasút Rt.").

The original purpose of the first metro line was to facilitate transport to the Budapest City Park along the elegant Andrássy Avenue without building surface transport affecting the streetscape. The National Assembly accepted the metro plan in 1870, and the local Hungarian subsidiary company of the Siemens & Halske AG was commissioned for the construction, starting in 1894. It took 2,000 workers using up-to-date machinery less than two years to complete. This section was built entirely from the surface (with the cut-and-cover method). One original car is preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, United States.[3]

The line ran underneath Andrássy Avenue, from Vörösmarty Square (the centre) to City Park, in a northeast-southwest direction. The original terminus was the Zoo (with extension to Mexikói út in 1973). It had eleven stations, nine underground and two (Állatkert and Artézi fürdő) overground. The length of the line was 3.7 kilometres (2.3 mi) at that time; trains ran every two minutes. It was able to carry as many as 35,000 people a day (today 103,000 people travel on it on a workday).



Between 1970 and 1973 the line underwent an extension and reconstruction of some sections. Deák tér station was relocated to connect with the M2 line with the old station becoming the Underground Museum. The rolling stock was changed to Ganz MFAV multiple units which still operate on the line. Finally the line’s left-hand traffic was changed into right-hand traffic.

The major change to the line was the extension to Mexikói út, the closure of Állatkert and the conversion of Széchenyi fürdő to an underground station.[4][5]


The renovations carried out over the past hundred years have not affected the tunnel section under Andrássy út. As a result, the tunnel - the masonry, the load-bearing steel structures, the insulation against water, the railway track structure, the architecture of the stations - changed little or not at all. From the middle of the 1980s, the serious damage and wear and tear that foreshadowed the necessity and urgency of reconstruction could already be detected.

The ceremonial handover took place in the presence of Mayor Gábor Demszky on September 15 in 1995 as part of an interesting cultural program. What was novel about it was that the audience sat in chairs at the stations, and the production was provided by the artists who got off the trains arriving at the station. Finally, on September 18, passengers were able to take possession of the renewed and beautified small underground. We builders hope it will be used at least as carefully as we built it; then it will continue to serve the traveling public for the next hundred years.

Rolling stock[edit]

Stations and connections[edit]

BKV metro.svg BKV m 1 jms.svg (Vörösmarty tér – Mexikói út)
Travel Time
Station Travel Time
Connection Buildings / Monuments
0 Vörösmarty tér 11 Logo tramway-budapest.svg 2
BKV busz symbol.svg 15, 115
Vigadó, Café Gerbeaud, Ministry of Finance
1 Deák Ferenc tér 10 BKV metro.svgBKV m 2 jms.svg BKV m 3 jms.svg
Logo tramway-budapest.svg 47, 48, 49
BKV busz symbol.svg 9, 16, 100E, 105, 178
Town Hall, Metro Museum (Földalatti Vasúti Múzeum)
2 Bajcsy–Zsilinszky út 9 BKV busz symbol.svg 9, 105, 178 St. Stephen's Basilica
3 Opera 8 Logo trolleybus-budapest.svg 70, 78
BKV busz symbol.svg 105, 178
Hungarian State Opera House
4 Oktogon 7 Logo tramway-budapest.svg 4, 6
BKV busz symbol.svg 105, 178
Theaters (Operette, Mikroszkóp, Miklós Radnóti,...)
5 Vörösmarty utca 6 Logo trolleybus-budapest.svg 73, 76
BKV busz symbol.svg 105, 178
House of Terror
6 Kodály körönd 5 BKV busz symbol.svg 105, 178
7 Bajza utca 4 BKV busz symbol.svg 105, 178
8 Hősök tere 3 Logo trolleybus-budapest.svg 72, 75, 79
BKV busz symbol.svg 20E, 30, 30A, 105, 178, 230
Museum of Fine Arts, Műcsarnok (Hall of Exhibitions), Városliget (City Park), Hősök tere (Heroes square)
9 Széchenyi fürdő 2 Logo trolleybus-budapest.svg 72 Széchenyi thermal bath, Zoo and Botanical Garden
11 Mexikói út 0 Logo tramway-budapest.svg 1, 3, 69
Logo trolleybus-budapest.svg 74, 74A
BKV busz symbol.svg 25, 32, 225


See also[edit]

  • Tremont Street subway, Boston's first underground railway tunnel and the first one built worldwide, after Budapest's Line 1.


  1. ^ "BKK In Numbers". Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "A világ második földalatti vasútja". Cultura (in Hungarian). 2016-05-02.
  5. ^ "Elfeledett, évszázados hidak bújnak meg a Városliget szélén". (in Hungarian). 2018-02-11.