Hungarian State Railway: It was the police who stopped the train at Bicske

Original Article: http://hvg.hu/itthon/20150903_MAV_A_rendorseg_allittatta_le_a_vonatot_B

Hungarian State Railway: It was the police who stopped the train at Bicske

Refugees were un-cooperative in the past couple of days, that is why some measures were introduced recently, such as restrictions of the rules of international ticket purchase – we were told at a press conference held by Hungarian State Railways (MÁV). It is possible that ticket forgers were targeting the refugees in the past days – said the CEO of MÁV. The train heading towards the Western border however was stopped at Bicske Station by police, not them.  

The press conference held by the executives of the railway-company started with a usual “railway-delay”.

Ms. Ilona David, CEO, said that in the past days, several refugees travelled on different railway lines, but despite this, “they were trying to ensure passenger safety”. According to them, migrants were uncooperative, there were protests, that is why they introduced some measures, for example, they effected restrictions on international ticket-purchases. In the meantime they made the handling of ticket refunds more flexible, in order to help average travellers get their money back easier – we were told. For refunds they set a 40 EUR limit, as this is the average ticket-price.

Migrants could have received fake tickets
MÁV themselves found it suspicious, too, that the refugees got their tickets at higher prices, and they find it probable that someone faked these tickets in order to make money off the refugees. This is why they introduced these more stringent rules. Due to overcrowding, unlinking of rail-cars and checking of seats could only be carried out with help from police officers. The fact that the refugees used the railcars “inappropriately” posed further problems. ( This apparently means that there were a lot of them trying to get inside the carriages ). They also said that the train leaving for the Western border of Hungary was stopped not by the National Railway, but by police, therefore they would not like to comment on this issue. As we have reported earlier, this train is still stuck at Bicske station, refugees without food or water, according to a policeman “in 70 degrees” (Celsius – ed.) are waiting for something to happen. Our local correspondent reported that police at first tried to get refugees off the train, but because they lost control of the situation, they left everyone on the train. 

When Keleti Railway Station was opened
Ms. Ilona David also spoke about the opening of Keleti station on Thursday morning. She said that they made a decision about not allowing trains to depart to Western Europe in accordance with talks they held with their governing body, the National Development Ministry. Opening up the station by police at the same time was just a coincidence. The two actions at the same time resulted in dramatic scenes: chaos broke out at Keleti, many tried to jump onto moving trains. Railway-patrols tried to help, but were limited in capacity, therefore they asked for the help of police – said Mr. Marton Feldmann, economic director at MÁV. We also heard on the press conference that MÁV will continue to ensure that refugees are transported to places assigned to them by law, but they could not come to an agreement with the migrants on this as they are unwilling to travel towards East, only West.

MÁV is in continuous contact with the Immigration- and Citizenship Bureau and the National Police Directorate. 

Useful advice to travellers
The “average” travellers wishing to go Westbound are advised to take national trains to Hegyeshalom border station and buy international tickets there, or get out of the country via Sturovo, Slovakia, and continue their journey from there. About ticket refunds, we were told that they noticed a slight increase in returns compared to average, but the growth was insignificant. This could also be attributed to the fact that refugees were refused access to the station for a long period of time.

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