Cluj-Napoca metro groundbreaking (Photo Gulermak) (1)

ROMANIA: Construction of Cluj-Napoca metro Line 1 was launched with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 5, attended by Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, Minister of Transport & Infrastructure Sorin Grindeanu and Mayor Emil Boc.

The country’s first driverless metro will run over a 21 km route with 19 stations. Starting from Țara Moților in Florești, the Y-shaped line will run via Mănăștur and the future regional hospital to Piața Mărăști, where it will divide. One branch will serve the Muncii industrial area via an interchange with the national railway, while the other will run to Europa Unită via Gheorgheni and Sopor.

Cluj-Napoca metro groundbreaking (Photo Gulermak) (2)

Expected to cost 13·7bn lei, the project is being financed from Romania’s National Recovery & Resilience Plan, with 10bn lei coming from the national government and 1·48bn from the European Union. There will also be a local contribution.

A 9bn lei contract for design and construction was awarded in May 2023 to a consortium of Turkish contractor Gulermak, Alstom and Arcada.

Cluj-Napoca metro groundbreaking (Photo Gulermak) (4)

The line is scheduled to open in 2031, although Boc anticipates that the first seven stations may be completed as soon as 2026. A condition of the EU funding is that the first phase should be operational within four years. The line will be operated by a fleet of 26 three-car trainsets with capacity for up to 540 passengers, and is expected to carry 164 000 passengers per day.

‘I am delighted to break ground on the biggest infrastructure project in the history of Cluj’, said Ciolacu. ‘Without a metro network, you can’t solve traffic problems in such a large and developed city.’