ROMANIA’s Railway Reform Authority (ARF) has finally signed a contract with Polish manufacturer Pesa for the supply of 20 three-car inter-regional trains for use on services across Romania. The deal also includes 15 years maintenance and options for nine further trains and an additional 15 years maintenance.

The order was originally placed in September 2023. However, Alstom appealed against the contract award. This initial appeal was rejected in November, prompting the launch of a second appeal. Following a hearing in the Bucharest Court of Appeal, Romania’s National Agency for Public Procurement (ANAP) issued unconditional approval for the order, declaring the offer submitted by Pesa as compliant.

The deal is worth a total of Lei 1.11bn ($US 240m) with the train component worth Lei 830.4m and maintenance Lei 276m. The order is funded through the National Reconstruction Plan as well as the state budget.

The 160km/h trains are a variant of the Pesa series 654/655 EMUs delivered to Czech private operator RegioJet. They will each have 192 seats across first and second-class accommodation and will be equipped to take traction current at 25kV ac and with Romania’s PZB 90 signalling system.

Pesa has already signed preliminary agreements with state-owned operators CFR Calatori and CFR to establish local maintenance depots centres for the new fleet.

The Technical Economic Committee of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MTI) also confirmed in April that it will proceed with the procurement of another nine inter-regional trains along with 23 electric locomotives. Alstom secured a contract to supply 16 four-axle 25kV ac electric locomotives in January. AFR also signed a contract with Pesa for the supply of 62 regional EMUs at the end of January. This contract is worth Lei 3.04bn.

“Pesa vehicles will be the first modern trains for Romanian Railways in over 20 years,” says Mr Sorin-Mihai Grindeanu, Romania’s minister of transport and infrastructure. “What is equally important for us is that these are the last contracts we have to sign as part of the railway package of the National Reconstruction Plan. Funds for all tasks have now been contracted.”

Hydrogen bidding cancelled

Meanwhile, ARF has confirmed that procurement of 12 hydrogen fuel cell multiple-units has been cancelled after no offers were submitted.

A previous tender was cancelled in November 2023 due to the non-compliance of the sole offer submitted by the Alstom-Linde Gaz consortium.

The contract had an estimated value of Lei 868.9m.

ARF says it will now embark on a new market consultation for the project, in order to determine its future strategy for procuring the 12 hydrogen trains.

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