Hungary is a fascinating country and having only barely scraped the edges I can’t really comment too much. Getting around is very easy though with trains operating to all corners of the country, regularly, and the Budapest integrated transport system won’t have you standing around anywhere for long.
Magyar Allamvasutak (MAV) operate the national rail service, throughout Hungary; also offering many cross border trains into neighbouring countries. MAV timetables can be downloaded as PDF’s from their site. Maps of the MAV system can be found on their site.
There are also open access operators offering regional services, completely exempt from MAV, such as:
GySev – operating regional services in the Budapest – Szombathely – Sopron areas. GySev timetables are available on their site in PDFs to download alternatively they are also published in the national timetable produced by MAV.
A comprehensive list of both passenger and freight operators in Hungary can be found on the helpful Railfaneurope website’s Hungary page.
Train times and Tickets
Booking tickets for travel within Hungary (on MAV operated trains) can be done on the MAV-START website, or if you only require reservations for either Interrail, Eurail or railway staff passes then this can be done via phone to the DB office in London.
If choosing to use an Interrail pass, either for just within Hungary, or to pass through Hungary, all the relevant details on the passes, including the different types/lengths of validity available, can be found on the InterRail website.
Finally travel in Europe can be made a lot simpler by using the very, very, helpful smartphone app courtesy of Eurail. This app is available both online and offline and is always up to date (well it has been for the countries I’ve used it in; including for any planned engineering works); for me it was an essential part of my travel in Europe. This app is linked to the Hafas system, which countries like Germany, Austria & Switzerland use for their train planning online tool. Eurail has done what the individual countries haven’t though and made it available offline.
For the Rail Enthusiast
A comprehensive list of Hungarian Locomotives by their respective railway system can be found on the Railfaneurope website’s Hungary page. This also explains a bit the various operators of the network and how they have amalgamated over the years.