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25th September, 2018

Gellért Hill funicular under construction

Preparation works for building a funicular railway on the Gellért Hill in Budapest have started, investigative news website G7 learned from workers on the site.

The rail link will replace tourist buses which impose heavy traffic on the hill, but will in future park at the bottom of the track, said CEO Imre Walton of project company Gellérthegyi Sikló Beruházó.

Only one track will be built, with bypassing tracks in the middle. The lower half of the track will be covered.

The carriages, capable of carrying 40 people, will be delivered by Italian manufacturer Leitner.

Budapest transport company BKK has a 25% stake in the project company while the rest is owned by private investors.

Two-time kayak Olympic gold medallist Gábor Horváth owns 45% of this private shareholding and Csaba Bató 55%.

Bató is a former head of both the MKB and Erste fund managers. He has also worked for state venture capital company MFB Invest and Déli Áramlat, the Hungarian project company for the proposed South Stream gas pipeline.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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