The European Investment Bank (EIB) is planning a EUR 745 million financing for the upgrade of Arad-Sighisoara railway, which is starting from a few km east of the main station, about 30 km east of the border between Romania and Hungary, to Sighisoara, a historic region of Transylvania. The line runs towards Bucharest and Constanta and is part of the Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor.
The upgrade of the 308-km railway line includes the deployment of the ERTMS Level 2 signalling system. After completion, the passenger trains will be able to run at 160 km/h and the freight trains, at 120 km/h, with increased axle load and maximum permissible train length.
EUR 3 billion is the estimated value of the entire project with construction works being performed within different phases and lots.
The Arad-Sighisoara railway runs from Western Romania towards Bucharest and Constanta and is part of the Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridor. In September 2020, the railway infrastructure manager CFR SA and Asocierea RailWorks consortium comprising Aktor, Alstom and Arcada, signed a RON 2.86 billion (EUR 582.17 million) contract for the modernisation of Lot 2 Apata-Cata section on the Sighisoara-Brasov line, part of Arad-Bucharest rail connection, on the on the Rhine-Danube CNC.
The project is expected to improve the quality of regional rail services in the north-west of Romania as well as national and international rail services using the Arad- Sighisoara railway section of the Rhine-Danube TEN-T Corridor. The main improvements will be reduction of travel times, vehicle operating cost savings, environmental and safety benefits.
The project will promote modal shift from road and air to rail and consequently enhance sustainable transport with reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and therefore mitigate climate change in line with EU objectives. The project is also expected to fulfill the interoperability requirements for TEN-T Corridors set under the Regulation (EU) no. 1315/2013 on the Arad-Sighiosoara railway line, part of the Rhine-Danube TEN-T Corridor connecting Dresden to Constanta.