Picture: Sorin Grindianu

Romania's CFR Infrastructure opened a 1,520 mm gauge railway that runs from the Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti to the Danube river port of Galati on 7 July, following repairs. Grain from Ukraine can now be transported along this railway line without changing rolling stock.

The repair work began on 6 June and lasted one month, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax Ukraine news agency. It was completed well ahead of schedule. It was previously scheduled to last 60 days.

"From now on, freight trains coming from Ukraine through the Republic of Moldova can unload grain directly in the port of Galati without the need for transshipment at the border," Romania’s Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Sorin Grindeanu said.

He added that grain cargoes in the port of Galati could be immediately transferred from the railway onto a barge or stored in the port granary, which has a capacity of 25,000 tons. According to him, both river and sea vessels can be loaded in Galati.

The railway from Giurgiulesti to Galati has combined tracks (both the European gauge of 1435 mm and the broad gauge of 1520 mm). The broad gauge was last used to transport freight from Ukraine and Moldova in 2017.