Salzburg fast-tracks railway expansion
Local authorities want to seize the moment and are pushing for construction to start in 2023
- January 23, 2020 17:30
- Anton Stoyanov
The Mayor of Salzburg Harald Preuner and State Councillor Stefan Schnöll recently announced that they aim to fast track the city’s plans for the development and the expansion of the local railways. They believe that the time is ripe to kick the whole process into overdrive and are hopeful that construction might begin by 2023.
What gave them such hope was the fact the expansion of the local Salzburg railways was featured in the programme of the newly inaugurated federal government headed by Sebastian Kurz.
Plans, timetables and proposals
Along with the pledge to work on the project, there also came a timetable and a list of what is set to be done – the first step of the construction efforts is the railway’s expansion to Mirabellplatz – the cost of this stretch is estimated at around 140 million euros. If work begins as hoped by 2023, the new train station should be finished in just a couple of years.
Local officials are also eager to point out that the project only makes sense if the railway network is further expanded to Hallein. According to Mayor Preuner, Salzburg can no longer handle the incoming and ever-increasing traffic. Furthermore, the surrounding area around the city is also in desperate need of railway support in order to alleviate mobility issues. The cost of the entirety of the project is estimated at nearly 650 million euros.
As of right now, the local government of Salzburg is engaged in dialogue and negotiations with federal authorities – the two parties are discussing the cost-sharing scheme that would finance the massive project. Furthermore, authorities will also be waiting for the completion of an environmental impact study that might influence their construction plans.
While the intentions of Salzburg authorities are absolutely clear, there still remain many unanswered questions regarding the project – how long the underground part of the railway should be, should it feature a tunnel or a bridge to cross the Salzach, etc.
Concerned parties and political actors will be debating the issue in the coming months, but the mayor of Salzburg still remains hopeful that work should begin relatively soon.
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