Romania makes progress on the suspended railway line that will link Bucharest to its biggest airport
The railway segment that will connect Bucharest’s largest airport – Henri Coanda – to the existing railway system and the Romanian capital’s main train station – Gara de Nord – is 65% completed. The connection should be completed and become operations by the end of August this year, the Transport Ministry announced after visiting the construction site on May 6.
“The railway, which has a length of about 17 kilometers, will be ready in August and will allow passengers to get from the Henri Coanda International Airport to Gara de Nord in just 15 minutes,” the Bucharest Airports Company (CAB) wrote in a Facebook post. It also presented new photos with the stage of the works.
The project includes the construction of almost 3 kilometers of double railway plus a 1.5-kilometer viaduct that will pass over DN1, the busiest road in Romania, and a passenger terminal at the airport. The value of the contract is RON 398 million (EUR 84 mln) plus VAT.
The project was challenged in court by a hotel operator in Otopeni and by Romanian billionaire Ion Tiriac, who owns an ice-skating rink next to the train route, on safety grounds. However, the Transport Ministry has reached an agreement with the hotel operator, thus eliminating the last obstacle for completing the project, transport minister Lucian Bode said on May 6. The Transport Ministry also settled the dispute with Tiriac earlier this year after agreeing to build a train station next to his ice-skating rink, according to ClubFeroviar.ro.
“As of now, the contractor has no more obstacles and no more excuses not to meet the deadline in the contract. The agreed deadline is the end of August 2020,” said transport minister Lucian Bode.
The contract for the train link from the Otopeni Airport to Bucharest was signed in May 2019. The Romanian authorities had promised to complete this project before the start of the European Football Championship - EURO 2020, in which Bucharest is one of the hosts. However, the tournament was postponed for 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Photo source: Bucharest Airports Facebook page)