The Moldovan Railways state enterprise has acceded to the agreement on the Viking international container train service, Moldnews has reported, citing the country’s Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure.
The transport corridor passes through Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania and connects a network of maritime container lines in the Baltic region to a similar system in the Black, Caspian, and Mediterranean seas. Moldova will now be added to this transport system through Ocnita, Balti, and Ungheni in the north and through Giurgiuleşti in the south.
The Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian railways created the Viking project in May 2008, enabling them to connect the Black Sea and Baltic Sea regions.
Viking operates between the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Ilyichevsky and the Lithuanian Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda. The 1,734-kilometer distance is covered in 52 hours. In the 10 years since joining the Viking project, Ukrainian railways have transported more than 55,000 TEU, including about 14,000 TEU in 2012.
The project is based on the principle of expedited delivery of container and contrailer goods by rail in conjunction with other modes of transport - sea and road. A regular timetable was introduced for Viking trains in January 2012, which had a positive effect on the growth of its cargo traffic. The participants in the project have also set preferential tariffs for transportation of containers on trains.
Bulgaria joined the project at the end of 2012 and Romania in early 2013. In addition, Turkey is also interested in the projects, and negotiations between the two parties are underway.