A long-awaited rail line connecting Bucharest’s Henri Coanda Airport to the capital’s main railway station will become operational by August, the transport minister has said.
Lucian Bode said the line is currently 65% completed after a visit to the site last week. Currently, the only public transport connecting the airport to the city is an express bus line.
The 17-kilometer express line will allow passengers to make the journey from the airport to the Gara de Nord railway station in just 15 minutes, the Bucharest Airports Company (CAB) wrote in a Facebook post on May 8, where it presented a gallery of photos of the work in progress.
The project includes the construction of almost 3 kilometers of double railway plus a 1.5-kilometer viaduct that will pass at a height of 7.5 meters above the DN1, the busiest road in Romania, and a passenger terminal at the airport.
The 84 million-euro contract was awarded in to a consortium of companies including Arcada Company SA, ISPCF SA, and DB Engineering & Consulting GMBH. It was scheduled to be ready for the Euro 2020 which was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Romanian businessman Ion Tiriac joined by dozens of business people and residents sued to get the line halted, but Tiriac apparently changed his mind this year after meeting Bode and said officials had found a ways to “minimize the negative impact” on his projects, which includes an ice-skating rink next to the train route.
“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,” Bode said.
The project was signed in May 2019 and was due to be completed in June 2020.