Romania and Bulgaria have signed with INEA -Innovation and Networks Executive Agency two key CEF grant agreements for key rail infrastructure projects.
Bulgarian National railway infrastructure company (NRIC) has received over EUR 151 million of funding for important upgrades to a 24.4 km rail section between Kostenets and Septemvri on the Orient-East Med TEN-T Core Network Corridor. The project is part of those supported by the EU under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport instrument and was selected under the 2015 CEF Transport calls, which made EUR 7.6 billion available to finance projects to improve European transport infrastructure, promote transport safety, develop intelligent transport systems and mitigate the environmental impact of the sector.
“This project has strategic importance, not only for Bulgaria but for all of the South-East European Countries. The Kostenetz-Septemvri railway section is part of the line connecting the Serbian border with the Turkish and Greek borders, as well as the Black Sea port of Bourgas. These two railway lines have a major priority for our country and we plan to finish them completely by 2022”, stated Ivailo Moskovski, the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria.
The Romanian state-owned rail infrastructure manager, CFR SA signed with INEA a EUR 440 million financing agreement for the Rehabilitation of the Brașov–Sighişoara railway section, Apața–Cața sub-section. The eligible costs of the action are EUR 538 million.
The currently 130 km long Brașov–Sighişoara section is part of a Global Project aiming at upgrading the existing railway line from Brașov to the Hungarian border. It consists of three sub-sections: Brașov-Apața, Apața– Cața, and Cața–Sighişoara.
The upgrading works will contribute to the promoting sustainable mobility along the Romanian railway sector of the Rhine-Danube Corridor (Hungarian border-Curtici-Arad-Simeria-Sighisoara-Brasov) by increasing train speed, improving railway safety and implementing modern interlocking and traffic management systems in compliance with the new European Technical Standards for Interoperability (TSI) and EU regulations.
The scope of action consists in upgrading works for the sub-section 2. Apața– Cața for maximum speed of 160 km, ERTMS/ETCS level 2 + GSM-R, 22.5 tonne axle load, access for people with reduced mobility.
The two other sub-sections, Brașov–Apața and Cața–Sighişoara, are being upgraded through Action 2014-RO-TMC-0639-W. Once the upgrade of all three sub-sections is completed, the length of the Brașov–Sighişoara section will be reduced from 130.27 km to 112.63 km and fully comply with EU requirements for the rail Core Network as set by Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013, namely: 22.5 tonne axle load , possibility of running freight trains with a length of 740 m and at least 100 km/h speed.