The war in Ukraine saved the railway service from bankruptcy

The situation regarding the Moldovan Railway Service has improved. In the first six months of 2022, it recorded a profit of 60 million lei, and in the second quarter it recorded a record profit – 90 million lei, according to the statement of the CFM director, Oleg Tofilat, writes Bani.md.

Tofilat claims that the company’s profit increased due to the increase in the volume of grain transportation from Ukraine.

“Before the start of the war, the volume of goods transported through the Black Sea ports was 135 million tons annually, while CFM transported about 3.3 million tons annually. Respectively, all this volume of goods from Ukraine was directed through the Republic of Moldova to the ports of Reni, Ismail, Galati and ConstanČ›a. Tariffs for the domestic transport of goods were not increased, for transit they increased by 15%, and for international by 10%”, explained the director.

Tofilat states that in 5-6 months CFM’s transport capacities are to be increased to handle the transport of goods from the neighboring country.

“About 77 km of the railway will be repaired so that the speed of the train is not lower than 40 km/h. the infrastructure of the stations will be rehabilitated in order to increase the speed of goods processing”, pointed out Tofilat, who claims that currently the transport of Ukrainian grain to the Port of ConstanČ›a takes 35 days. This is explained by the low processing speed. “The same is the case with the port of Galati, which processes 8-10 wagons per day. It is necessary to invest in the access infrastructure”.

In 2023, CFM would purchase 1,000 freight wagons from a Polish loan. Still, CFM is in a difficult situation. Of the 139 existing locomotives, 134 have exceeded their depreciation period.

At the same time, more than 25% of the railway infrastructure can no longer be exploited and requires capital repair, and in a few years the traffic on more than half of the railways would be suspended.

In the last 8 years, the state enterprise generated losses approaching one billion lei. Losses have increased in recent years due to the decline in passenger numbers, especially for international transport, but also for freight transport.

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