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Moldova’s Rail Revolution: CFM Announces Grand Vision at Rail Days 2023

Moldova’s Rail Revolution: CFM Announces Grand Vision at Rail Days 2023
photo: Ministerul Infrastructurii ?i Dezvoltării Regionale al Republicii Moldova / Facebook/Moldova’s Rail Revolution: CFM Announces Grand Vision at Rail Days 2023
01 / 11 / 2023

In the recent Rail Days 2023 event held in Bucharest, Calea Ferată din Moldova (CFM), Moldova's state rail operator, unveiled ambitious plans for significant investments in new rolling stock. Their presentation underscored a critical need to keep up with the burgeoning demand for freight rail transportation.

Specifically, CFM aims to acquire 25-30 shunting locomotives, priced around EUR 2.5 million each, and over 4,000 freight wagons. These procurements are set to occur between 2024 and 2026. In addition to the current 21 mainline locomotives, CFM projects an increased need of ten more. The addition of 12 shunters, designed for both shunting and mainline tasks, would bolster the current fleet of 27 ČME3 shunting locomotives.

The European Investment Bank’s President, Werner Hoyer, confirmed a boost to CFM's rail development vision by securing a financial package. With the European Commission's nod, an investment grant of EUR 2 million has been dedicated to the EIB Global project. This initiative aims to rejuvenate two pivotal railway sections within the Republic of Moldova. Complemented by a forthcoming loan of EUR 42 million from EIB Global, this endeavor looks to augment internal connectivity in Moldova and pave a vital export path for Ukraine. In doing so, it champions the Solidarity Lanes initiative, designed to fortify regional stability and spur economic resilience.

This rail project is set to focus on rejuvenating the Republic of Moldova’s North-South railway corridor, bridging Western Ukraine to vital Danube and Prut River ports. CFM will take the reins in refurbishing the Valcinet – Ungheni – Chisinau - Cainari rail corridor, aiming for the long haul by aligning the Moldovan railway network with EU norms. Beyond just infrastructural enhancements, this project epitomizes Moldova’s commitment to forging stronger ties with neighboring nations, particularly under the banner of Solidarity Lanes.

High-profile figures like EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Olivér Várhelyi, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Dorin Recean, have praised the initiative. They emphasized its potential in strengthening Moldova's economic backbone and its connectivity, all the while echoing gratitude for the robust support from the European Commission and EIB. The overall sentiment resonated with optimism, signaling a brighter future for Moldova's railway system and, by extension, its economy.