Romania has become the sixth country to join the Viking international container train service. The signing ceremony of the relevant protocol took place in Sofia (Bulgaria), the press service of Viking project announced.
Representatives of all the participants - the Ukrainian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, and Moldovan railways - signed the document. The Romanian company CFR Marfa SA, which provides railway freight services, will participate in the project.
"Romania’s desire to join the intermodal route was predictable after Bulgaria and Moldova joined the project. All the participants in the project have studied the marketing component of the new route, and we can confidently say today that Romania will only strengthen the competitive advantages of the project and that it will become strategically advantageous for transportation of goods between markets in Turkey, the Balkans, and Europe," said Oleg Platonov, the president of PLASKE (the operator of the Viking train in Ukraine), commenting on the signing of the protocol.
As reported, the Viking project was launched in 2003. The total length of the route Ilyichevsk (Ukraine)-Minsk (Belarus)-Draugyste (Lithuania) is 1,766 kilometers. The train connects ports in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. With the aim of increasing the volume of traffic, Ukraine’s State Railway Administration (Ukrzaliznytsia) sends Viking trains to Belarus and Lithuania based on a clear timetable and on specific days of the week, regardless of the number of cars in a train.
Bulgaria joined the project in December 2012 and Moldova in 2013. The intermodal transport route passes through Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania and connects a network of marine container lines in the Baltic region with a similar system in the Black, Caspian, and Mediterranean seas.