A Hungarian billionaire, József Kreinbacher, has recently joined the project, and besides a lot of money, he has an interest as well as experiences in the construction sector. Furthermore, even the lord mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, supports it, while the state permission has been in hand for years. However, the execution of the project has not started yet.
Building a new funicular has been a promise for almost a decade, but nothing has happened yet, 24 reported. The Gellérthegyi Sikló Ltd. currently has two owners: 25 pc belongs to the BKK Centre for Budapest Transport while 75 pc to the Sikló-Beruházó Ltd. Among the owners of the latter, József Kreinbacher’s company, the Gellért Hill Experience Ltd., popped up.
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Kreinbacher is a well-known businessman with a fortune worth 8 billion HUF (EUR 22.7 million), and he is very active in the construction of industrial, logistics, and trade buildings. The company’s total income was 23 billion HUF in 2018 while its profit reached 1.5 billion HUF (EUR 4.2 million). Moreover, the businessman has interests in the wine market and in the champagne sector as well. For example,
his magnum champagne made of furmint grape was World Nr 1 in 2013.
We wrote before that the new Gellért Hill funicular project was supposed to be finished by the summer of 2020. Its route would go from Elizabeth Bridge to the Citadella, along the side of Gellért Hill. In 2018, the media said that an Eastern businessman wanted to invest money in the project, but nothing happened.
A source working for the Budapest City Council told 24 that the city was positive about the project but neutral towards the Hungarian businessman. “He is not a leftist person, but he is also
not one of the Fidesz oligarchs, and he can construct, for sure,”
the source added. Gergely Karácsony, lord mayor of Budapest, said in May that a funicular should be built leading to the Gellért Hill to help ban tourist buses from the region causing air pollution and disturbing locals.
Interestingly, the idea to build a funicular there first appeared in the 19th century.
Previously, experts calculated the project to cost 4-5 billion HUF, but that sum now seems to be very low. Furthermore, they estimate that the
travel time would be just a couple of minutes.
The first district does not support the creation of a bus parking lot at the Buda bridgehead of the Elizabeth bridge. The mayor of the district, Márta V. Naszályi, said that there were other territories in the district to build that.
It now seems that there will be no public money in the Gellért Hill funicular. However, experts say that the funicular can produce a profit. For example, the Buda Castle Funicular made more than 2 million EUR profit in 2018.
Based on the most optimistic calculations, the new funicular
can be built by summer 2022.