The writer took tram 61 to the end of the line at Huvosvolgy, where she joined the Children’s Railway. On disembarking, she took the cog railway tram number 60 to the terminus at Varosmajor, where there are connections back into downtown Budapest. For the full timetable and pricing, see gyermekvasut.hu (click on the “English” tab). Wizz Air (wizzair. com) offers fares from London Luton to Budapest from about £50 return. For other flight options, see flight comparison websites skyscanner.com and momondo.com.
The Children’s Railway can also be incorporated into a more substantial rail-themed tour of the central Europe region. Experience Grand Imperial Cities is a 13-day escorted tour run by Great Rail Journeys (01904
521936; greatrail.com) which costs from
£2,095 per person. Includes travel by train from London and stops in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Berlin. For those wanting to travel independently, GRJ Independent (01904 734356; greatrail.com/ grj-independent) offers a 12-day trip from London from £1,475 per person including accommodation in four-star hotels in four cities and rail travel. stop and four young Americans climbed on board.
Levi consulted with Bence and they were asked to pay 600 HUF (£1.70) each. He reached into a waist-level black leather box strapped around his neck and issued them with tickets, exchanging them for the bank notes.
As our train chugged along through the fairyland forest outside, I had a quick chat with our guards. In the summer, when the train is very busy, they both have more work to do.
People got on and off at each stop to go hiking, while Bence sold postcards and fridge magnets. Levi was proud of the fact the train runs in all weathers; every day in the winter apart from Monday.
We were nearing the end of our 45-minute trip at Szechenyi-hegy. From here, it was a short walk downhill to the cog tram back to the city.
Before I left, I was keen to hear about the boys’ plans for their future. Levi wanted to work in IT, but Bence planned to continue to work on the railways; this experience had made him more determined to fulfil his ambition. I waved to them as I walked away from the train. Job done, they both snapped out of serious work mode and waved back.
I enjoyed my short journey through the forest; it had been a peaceful step back in time. And like much in life it had shown that nothing is ever quite black or white.