ROMANIAN state railway CFR is inviting bids for contracts to upgrade two sections of the Craiova - Drobeta Turnu Severin - Caransebeş main line, worth a total of Lei 4.87bn ($US 1.04bn).

The first contract covers design and construction on the 41.6km section from Drobeta Turnu Severin to Băile Herculane. Work must be completed within six years, including one year for design work. The estimated contract value is Lei 2.44bn.

The six-year contract covering the 32.6km Băile Herculane - Po Poarta section is worth Lei 2.43bn. Bids for both contracts must be submitted by July 29.

The upgrade of the 225.3km Craiova - Caransebeş main line will enable trains to operate at up to 160km/h.

Gradients will be eased where they currently exceed 18%. Other civils work will include strengthening bridges to accommodate axleloads of up 22.5 tonnes and the provision of International Union of Railways (UIC) loading gauge C.

The upgrade will also include installing new electronic interlockings, ETCS Level 2 and the GSM-R radio communications system, as well as station upgrades and the installation of noise barriers.

Funding for the Craiova - Caransebeş upgrade is being provided under Romania’s €9.6bn 2021-27 Transport Programme, comprising €4.6bn of European Union (EU) funding.

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