Regional line Orosháza – Mezőtúr – Karcag

A new line north from Mezőtúr to Kisújszállás via Túrkeve, would extend the Hungarian line 125 from Orosháza. That would create a regional line Orosháza – Karcag, improving connections to northern and northeastern Hungary. At Szarvas, the new service would cross the proposed Kecskemét – Békéscsaba regional line, an extended line 146.

The rest of line 125, south of Orosháza, originally ran to Arad. Cut by the Trianon border with Romania, it currently ends at Battonya (the isolated last section is numbered 125a). After restoration of the cross-border line, it would be logical to operate a separate Orosháza – Arad regional service.

Mezőtúr – Kisújszállás on Austro-Hungarian map of around 1910.

Original railway lines through Mezőtúr and Kisújszállás, Hungary.

On the old map, the former line 124 is visible, from Mezőtúr to Túrkeve. It has been closed for decades, and the alignment is not suitable for a new line.

Mezőtúr (population 19 000) is on the main line from Budapest to Romania, line 120. It would also be served by the proposed regional line Szolnok – Gyoma – Oradea.

The new alignment

The new alignment would be about 27 km long. To avoid reversal of trains, it would start east of Mezőtúr Station, after the bridge over the river Berettyó. The new line would diverge from the main line, and turn north, crossing the river again.

The only intermediate station would be at Túrkeve (population 9000). The alignment of the old railway ends here, which makes re-opening difficult. The simplest option is a parallel alignment, at the edge of the built-up area, even though this is away from the centre. The best station site would be on the road to Mezőtúr: this site is peripheral, but probably most journeys will be in this direction.

Schematic alignment of the new line…

New rail line Mezőtúr - Kisújszállás, Hungary.

From Túrkeve, the line would turn more to the northeast, toward the western edge of Kisújszállás. The junction with the main line Budapest – Debrecen would be 2 km west of the station, to avoid the built-up area.

Kisújszállás is a small town with 12 000 inhabitants, and the junction with line 102. Trains would continue to Karcag, which is larger (21 000 inhabitants). It is the junction for the more important line 103 to Tiszafüred, connecting there to line 108 toward Eger. Karcag is also large enough to be served by east-west inter-regional trains, to Debrecen and Oradea.

In the network

The extended line 125 from Orosháza would therefore cross four main rail routes:

  • the upgraded Szeged – Békéscsaba rail line, at Orosháza itself
  • the Budapest – Békéscsaba – Arad main line
  • the Budapest – Oradea line, a former main line which should regain its original function, and
  • the Budapest – Debrecen main line.

Extended Hungarian rail line 125, on the Alföld, or Great Plain.

The existing 63-km line from Orosháza to Mezőtúr should be substantially upgraded: electrified, double-track, and with higher line speeds. The new alignment would be built for 150 km/h, the de facto minimum standard for new lines in the EU. From Mezőtúr Station to Kisújszállás Station would be about 31 km, allowing a journey time of around 17 minutes, with one stop. Journey time over the whole line depends on the degree of upgrading, but should be around 80 minutes.

Regional line Orosháza – Mezőtúr – Karcag

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