Waiting for more goods from Ukraine: Romania to upgrade broad gauge railway to Port of Galați

2022/05/04 at 1:58 PM

Being interested in attracting more Ukrainian export goods to the Port of Constanța, Romania is developing new transport solutions for their delivery. Currently, rail and road transport are the main modes in this regard. In the coming months, a new alternative way via the Port of Galați, which is situated on the Danube River, can be added to this list. To this end, the Government of Romania is planning to upgrade the broad gauge railway that links Galați with Moldova and Ukraine.

In mid-April, the Ministry of Transport of Romania commenced a procurement proceeding for the modernisation of the railway line between Giurgiulești (Republic of Moldova) and the Port of Galați. The contractors can apply their bids until 19 May 2022.

Broad gauge railway towards the Port of Galați, source: Romania’s Ministry of Transport

According to the tender documentation, the project includes two parts: the renovation of the 3.583-kilometre-long broad gauge line and the 1.167-kilometre-long standard gauge line that run from the Danube port. The works, which are estimated at 1.289 million Romanian lei without VAT (around 261,000 euros), must be completed in two months from the date of signing the contract. The project will be funded by CFR Infrastructură, Romania’s rail infrastructure manager.

The modernisation of the Giurgiulești-Galați broad gauge railway will allow Romania to handle more goods from Ukraine via the Port of Galați and without transhipment on the border with Moldova. Being constructed in the time of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the broad gauge railway was being used for delivering iron ore from Ukraine to the Galați steel works (now ArcelorMittal Galați), situated westward from the city.

Since the Port of Galați is actually a river harbour, it can be used mostly for transhipping goods from the wagons to the barges to move further via the Danube–Black Sea Canal directly to the Port of Constanța or via the Danube River to Serbia, Hungary, Austria. In any case, to arrange such combined, rail-river shipments from Ukraine to Constanța, the logistics companies need to adjust customs proceedings with Moldova as the railway line from Odesa to Galați runs at several sections via its territory.

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