In order to improve the quality and competitiveness of the domestic railway vehicle research and development, the Hungarian Government established the Railway Technical Testing Center, which is responsible for the design, construction and development of a high-speed test track system and a vehicle testing laboratory. The new research and development center will tackle the complex challenges of professional innovation development, manufacturing and pre-commissioning testing, unique in Europe for all railway technical areas in such scales.
At present, there is only a limited possibility of testing rail vehicles in Europe; due to the overload of test tracks it takes on average 3-5 years to test vehicles, which can add up to 10 to 15 years for a new product to be developed and eventually introduced to the market. Thus in case of a mass production demand, the country offering proper facilities to test the vehicles will gain an economic and competitive advantage. Recognizing this significant market niche and the professional needs of railway vehicle manufacturers, the Hungarian Government decided to invest in the construction of a high-speed test track system. The Railway Technical Testing Center will operate primarily as a research infrastructure for applied research and industrial development purposes.
In Hungary, in the framework of the IC + program the production of railway passenger cars started already in 2012, and based on that success, the Government formulated an action program for the production of railway vehicles. In line with the Irinyi Plan adopted in 2016, RTTC can be a key element in the long-term growth and competitiveness of the Hungarian economy, one of the most important drivers of which is the automotive industry.
The impact assessment study of the Faculty of Transportation and Vehicle Engineering of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics after examining nearly 100 potential areas identified three potentially suitable areas based on various factors, such as their environmental and geological characteristics, population density, infrastructure development level, or the potential regional economic stimulating effects of RTTC operations. The Mezőtúr-Túrkeve area proved to be the most ideal location in terms of economic, social, geological, road, railway and air transport accessibility.
„Europe’s number one high-speed test track system”
The project has numerous economic, business and social benefits.
“The mission of the project is to build a track testing facility for high-speed rolling stock up to 430 km / h (280 mph) at the Railway Technical Testing Center (RTTC/VMV) by the end of 2022, thereby creating a unique facility in the world.”