Moldova plans to get its outdated rail network back on track

If Romanians complain that the national railways run slower than they did during the communist era, Moldovans have reason to hope that authorities are looking to invest in the former Soviet republic’s outdated rail network.

Moldova’s government has announced plans to reorganize the railways, or Calea Ferata din Moldova (CFM), Emerging Europe reported. The announcement comes as authorities report that fewer passengers are hopping on  the slow and inefficient 1,232-kilometer network.

Under the plans, the rail network will be split into three separate companies, one for passenger trains, another for goods’ trains and the third for developing and maintaining the rail infrastructure, the publication said.

The rail network has lost about one million lei (around 52.2 million euros) over the past five years and has seen annual revenues drop as passenger numbers and freight volumes have dropped.

Some analysts say that the network needs 300 million euros of investment to make the country’s approximately 1,232 kilometers of railways viable.

Last year, there were plans to renew the ageing rolling stock with financial assistance from the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank (EIB) last year, including energy efficiency measures which could save more than 4.5 million euros per year in diesel, which represents over 15,000 tonnes of CO2 and 17 per cent of their energy bill.

Rail passenger numbers dropped by about one-fourth for the first nine months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.


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