The Kolozsvár/Cluj municipality has signed two agreements with contractors to complete a feasibility study for building a city railway and interlinked underground for RON 30 million (EUR 6.2 million), mayor Emil Boc announced on Thursday.
The contractors of the feasibility study are Italy’s SWS Engineering, French Systra and Romanian company Metrans Engineering.
The feasibility study for the metropolitan railway is expected to be completed in 14 months, while the underground study should be ready in two years.
The basic concept is to create additional stations and daytime parking areas along the existing east-west rail line that is currently being overhauled and an underground railway in the city proper.
As of the latest, 2011 census, Kolozsvár had a population of 324,000 inhabitants, making it the second-largest Romanian city after the capital of Bucharest. It currently has a complex public transportation network: 321 kilometers of trolley, bus and tram lines. If the underground system does become a reality, it will be the first one outside the capital.
The underground line itself is planned to have a length of 16 kilometers and 15 stations. According to a recent study by the European Rail Research Advisory Council, the average construction cost of one kilometer of underground is EUR 130 million, not including railway vehicles, putting the cost of the Kolozsvár project at just over EUR 2 billion.
In comparison, this year’s budget of the Kolozsvár municipality is RON 1.69 billion (EUR 348 million).
Title image: Artist’s concept of an underground station. (illustration)