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Some of the first passengers on the new underground line in Budapest | Csaba Máthé / MTI

New underground line opens in Budapest

D&T
March 28, 2014

The long-awaited new underground line Metro 4 was inaugurated in the Hungarian capital on March 28 in the presence of state and local government leaders. It runs in a 7.3-kilometer tunnel from Keleti Railway Station on the Pest side – under the river Danube – to Kelenföld Railway Station in southwest Buda. It has ten stations altogether, built at depths between 12.9m and 30m below ground.

The planning of Metro 4 began in 1995 when a feasibility study was commissioned, resulting in contracts for construction being let in 1998. However, a lack of funding support from the government led to cancellation of the contracts soon after and it wasn’t until 2003 that finance for the project was put in place.

The construction of Metro 4 began in 2004, with the aim of completing the first phase of the project by 2007–09. Completion was later rescheduled to 2012 and then to 2014. A date for the implementation of the second phase of four stations from Keleti to Bosnyák square further to the east and of the third phase of two more stations to Gazdagrét, a housing estate of pre-fabricated buildings in the southwest, have yet to be set.

While Budapest Mayor István Tarlós blamed the previous city leadership for the considerable delay in the construction of the new line, the opposition holds that it was Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (also present at the ceremony) who stopped financing the project during his previous term (1998-2002) as head of government.

D&T

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