Romania delays new passenger rolling stock acquisition

“The tender for new, passenger rolling stock procurement will be organised in October 2018. The necessary documentation will be completed at that point”, declared for Railway PRO, Marian Paun, President of the Romanian Railway Reform Authority.

Although the deadline initially announced for the procurement of new rolling stock for the state-owned rail operator, CFR Calatori, was the end of 2017, the Romanian Railway Reform Authority, in charge with this project, has grossly delayed the deadline so that we could only hope to see the actual tender published in October 2018.

The main task of the Romanian Railway Reform Authority (ARF), an institution recently created following the recommendations in the General Transport Master Plan, is to improve the efficiency of the railway sector. Its objectives include the procurement of new rolling stock – diesel and electric, locomotives and coaches – which is extremely necessary for the development of regional transport in Romania. We recall that the initiation of the public tender procurement procedure had to be done after the Romanian Railway Reform Authority became operational. The authority has been operational since June 2017 and Romania has thus proved to have met the conditions to attract European funding in the rail sector.

Also, according to the draft Government Decision, published in October 2016, ARF has 119 employees, compared to the initial 50, plus 5 positions for the operation of the president’s cabinet.

 

These positions are organised into six departments: external relations, internal audit, legal service and human resources, information systems, economic general directorate and rolling stock general directorate. The last department deals with public procurement, leasing and monitoring of rolling stock and the directorate for strategy, efficiency and restructuring of rail network.

The Romanian Railway Reform Authority is the institution established at the proposal of the Romanian Ministry of Transport with the only purpose of accelerating investments in new rolling stock using European Union funds. Moreover, ARF is the sole beneficiary of the EUR 400 million sum available through the Operational Programme Large Infrastructure (POIM) for the procurement of passenger rolling stock.

The lack of rolling stock procurement generates the incapacity of the railway system to take over the citizens’ mobility need by dropping the number of passenger-km figures by up to 75% by 2030 according to an analysis carried out by CFR Calatori based on trends, while data in the General Transport Master Plan suggest a 21% decline in 2020 and up to 40% by 2030. At the moment, the Romanian rail passenger transport operator, CFR Calatori, has an active fleet of 870 coaches and 127 multiple-units and has no longer received subsidies for rolling stock procurement since 2011.

 


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