Memorial Station for the 50th Anniversary of MÁV’s M61 Locos

HG50NOHAB - Memorial Station for the 50th Anniversary of MÁV’s M61 Locos


First of all, many thanks for the QSL cards we have received so far.

Our station has been quiet for almost a year now but we kept on working in the background. Our QSL cards are ready and printed: we decided to honor all contacts made with us with a paper QSL – just like in the old days. The result is a nice oldschool picture postcard. We won’t show it here in order to keep it a surprise.

Regarding this we are hereby asking our friends wanting the QSL card directly instead of asking it via buro to please send us a message (by the end of March if possible) via the form on the About Us page, also leaving their postal address in the message.


HG50NOHAB’s permit expired today. Many thanks to all the HAMs for the continued interest, support, and all the QSL cards we have reveived so far.

We will start processing the log and sending our QSL cards soon, in the meantime we are asking for a little more of your patience.

Final Activation

HG50NOHAB will be QRV again on March 22nd during the day and at night (CET) and on 23rd during the day. Most probably this will be the final activation of the callsign before our license expires. We plan to be active on all classical HAM bands, mainly in CW and SSB modes.

Year-End Activation

HG50NOHAB will be activated several times again during the year-end holiday season so it will be worth listening out on the bands. Until we hear about each other on the bands, we wish happy holidays and an even happier new year to all HAMs around the globe.

APRS Tracker in Action Again

NoHAB-GM Foundation’s M61,010 (618 010) loco will celebrate her 50th birthday this November. Celebrating half a century of lifetime, the engine is in operation once again, this time operated by private railway company MTMG. The loco will haul a special train (together with 017) on November 17th, organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

According to the preliminary discussions with representatives of the Foundation, HG50NOHAB’s APRS tracker will be on board M61,010 on the way so it will be worth checking our APRS page.

We are not planning any other activations currently, however, we plan to be active again around the year end holiday season in SSB and CW, when we have some more free time.

Activation Tomorrow

HG50NOHAB will be active once again tomorrow, August 25th from the vicinity of the railway station in Tapolca. We will operate on 80 and 40 meters in SSB, somewhere around 3.620 MHz and 7.093 MHz (the traditional “Hungarian” frequencies – also depending on QRM). We apologize for the late notice – unfortunately everything is quite uncertain all the time when it’s about railways.

The reason for the activation is that August 25th is the last day when the summer timetable is in effect, thus the last time (at least for a while) when the former M61,017 will haul its regular passenger train as advertised in the timetable.

Plans for July

Realizing the marketing potential of the NoHAB locos, MÁV Start is planning to operate a regular passenger service between Budapest and the lake Balaton with M61 during the weekends while the summer timetable is in effect. The trains will run between Déli station in Budapest and Tapolca with diesel power along the whole way. The NoHAB locos haven’t been used in regular passenger service in the area of Balaton since 2000 and the last time we had a regular passenger train with NoHAB-traction from Budapest to Tapolca was in 1996!

Although the summer timetable is already in effect, the first train with NoHAB will depart on July 6th. HG50NOHAB’s team will also celebrate the unique occasion and plans to operate from Tapolca again. In the meantime, please enjoy a picture from the Railway Museum where the special event for the 50th anniversary just ended.

According to the plans, the Balaton-bound trains will be hauled by 017, the second loco from the right in this picture.


It was exactly 50 years ago on June 9th that M61,001 entered service in Hungary and the new age of the Hungarian railway traffic has begun. The anniversary will be celebrated by MÁV, MÁV Nosztalgia Kft. and the Hungarian Railway Museum during the upcoming weekend, from Friday June 14th to Sunday 16th. According to the current plans, all engines originally operating in Hungary and still in service today, wearing the (more or less) original livery with the stripes, will be on exhibit, including M61,010, owned by the NoHAB-GM Foundation (i.e. M61,001, 010, 017, 020 will be available). The locos wearing the later orange livery (i.e. M61,006 and 019) will be shown to the public during the following weekend, at the Private Railways Convention (since these engines are owned by MÁV Nosztalgia Kft. that can be considered the first private railway company in Hungary) on June 22nd.

HG50NOHAB will be QRV during both weekends. Unfortunately we couldn’t agree with the Railway Museum about portable operation from their premises so the HAM station will operate from either Joco’s or Sanyi’s or Pisti’s home QTH.

The Upcoming Long Weekend

The special train that was planned to be run on Saturday May 18th had to be cancelled due to the low number of expected passengers. Unfortunately this means that our APRS tracker won’t be active either and our portable operation from Tapolca planned for that day will also be cancelled. According to the rumours the special train will be run sometime during the summer or the fall, however, at this point this is really just a rumour.

Instead of the portable operations we will be active from HA3FUK’s home QTH on at least two of the three days (Sa-Su-Mo) during the long weekend. We plan to operate mainly on 80 and 40, in CW and SSB modes.

A Couple of Words About May 4th

Saturday was full of activities: the day began by starting the APRS tracker in the Railway Museum, then we departed towards Tapolca, having some photo-stops on the way to take pictures of the train. We arrived at the temporary QTH around 12:30 UTC, then after a quick setup procedure we entered our first QSO to the log at 12:53 UTC. Unfortunately our dipole made for 80 metes produced an unacceptably high SWR reading on 40 meters and we could not operate in this band even with using an ATU. We ended up staying on 3.625 MHz for all three hours of our activity, logging 24 QSOs before we went QRT. We are glad to have 8 of the 10 Hungarian districts in our log despite the weak propagation and strong QSB. (See details in the Log page.) Many thanks to all the Hungarian HAMs for making this activity successful – and apologies to our readers abroad; we will be better prepared next time with equipment for 40 meters and hope to hear from you soon.

HA5STS Pisti is in the picture, with the 50 year old loco in the background.

We have decided to operate HG50NOHAB during the next turn of the CQ Budapest VHF/UHF/SHF championship on Monday, May 6th, making it sure that the callsign gets known by wider audiences in Hungary.