Billionaire Ion Tiriac, who lobbied against key railway line, meets transport minister to find ‘solutions’ to project

ion tiriac in fata siglei federatiei romane de tenis

Billionaire businessman, Ion Tiriac, who has fiercely lobbied against the building of a railway line linking Bucharest to the capital’s airport, has met the transport minister and railway officials to discuss project.

Transport Minister Lucian Bode met with Tiriac, members of his foundation, and officials from the state railways CFR, Tiriac said in a statement.

Bucharest is one of the only countries in the European Union which doesn’t have a rail link or subway from the city to the airport. The road is the busiest in Romania.

Authorities were planning to build a suspended rail line ahead of the Euro 2020 championship, which Romania is jointly hosting. But Tiriac, 80, said it was “a useless investment,” and together with dozens of business people and residents sued to get the line halted.

The Bucharest Court of Appeal suspended the construction of the railway line in October.

But in an apparent volte-face, Tiriac said he had met the minister and railway officials to try and find solutions to “minimize the negative impact” on his projects „which are of public interest,” with the view of developing the railway line.

The railway link is scheduled to be completed by June 2020 to ensure transport for fans from the airport into the city.

Currently, the only public transport connecting the airport to the city is an express bus line.

Tiriac thanked Bote for being open to finding solutions to allow the ice rink to be kept open during the construction of the railway line which will have a station near the rink.

Tiriac built an ice-skating rink in Otopeni which opened in 2016 and plans to open a tennis academy in partnership with former tennis star Ilie Nastase. His plans also include an Olympic swimming pool and a gymnastics hall, plus a campus for students. He says that the new railway makes it impossible for him to develop these projects.

Several other investors complained that the railway line would pass very close to their properties.

The 84-million euro contract was awarded in June to a consortium of companies including Arcada Company SA, ISPCF SA, and DB Engineering & Consulting GMBH.

The project includes the construction of almost 3 kilometers of double railway plus a 1.5-kilometer viaduct that will run 7.5 meters above the DN1.


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