A Moldova-Romania rail link was almost abandoned for lack of rolling stock after a railcar broke down.
On Wednesday, the State Railway Enterprise of Moldova (Calea Ferată din Moldova) announced that as of 5 February (Monday), the Chișinău (capital of Moldova) – Iași (north-eastern Romania) train will be suspended and passengers who have already bought tickets can get their money back.
A day later, the Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development in Chisinau, Andrei Spînu, announced that the train on the Chisinau-Iași route will continue to run. “After CFM’s announcement that the Chișinău-Iași (Socola) train was cancelled, I asked for a re-evaluation of the decision not to admit this. In this regard, the CFM technical department has assured me that in the coming days work will be carried out urgently to ensure that the Chișinău-Iași (Socola) route runs without interruptions,” the minister said.
Immediately, the CFM’s Facebook page deleted the post about the train cancellation and put up another one: “Train on the Chișinpu-Iași (Socola) route back in daily service! Dear passengers, we announce that the Chișinău-Iași (Socola) train will not be suspended from Monday, February 5, 2024. Tickets purchased for 5 February are valid. The technical department will work urgently in the following days to ensure the service of the Chișinău – Iași (Socola) route with D1M trains.
The train will run according to schedule:
06:27 Departure from Chișinău, arrival in Iași at 11:12
17:40 Departure from Iași, arrives in Chișinău at 22:16”.
Moldova-Romania rail link restored with an old train
Later, Oleg Tofilat, the resigning director of CFM, also came to the fore, announcing that train services would resume, but not with modernised trains. The only train of its kind still in service also broke down. As a result, CFM officials decided to put an old train on the route temporarily.
“There’s really a technical problem with the modernised trainsets, because they’re also past the age of modernisation. The modernisation itself was an experimental project and it was quite difficult to ensure their circulation. For now, we put, depending on the days, for example yesterday there were few passengers and we sent the matrix, which is the monovagon, and usually we put some classic wagons,” said Tofilat.
It is not known when the modernized trains will resume running on the Chișinău-Iași route. In total, CFM modernised five trains in 2012-2013, which regularly broke down.