ROMANIAN Railways (CFR) has signed a Lei 1.53bn ($US 331.6m) contract with the RailWorks consortium, formed by Romanian construction company Arcada and Alstom of France, to upgrade the track and infrastructure on the Aghieres - Poieni line.

CFR says work on the 36.5km section of double-track line, designated Lot 2, must be designed and executed within 42 months. Track and infrastructure will be upgraded to enable passenger trains to operate at up to 160km/h and freight trains at up to 120km/h.

While Arcada will be responsible for civil engineering work, Alstom will provide the digital train control, traffic management and electrification infrastructure.

The project will be financed with European Union (EU) funding under Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

The Lot 2 Aghieres - Poieni upgrade is part of a wider project to modernise and electrify the entire 166.2km line from Cluj Napoca to Oradea and Episcopia Bihor, close to the Hungarian border. The wider upgrade, including electrification and resignalling, is receiving Lei 9.4bn from the NRRP and has been divided into four lots.

The RailWorks consortium has also won the Lot 1 contract for modernisation of the 30km Cluj Napoca - Aghieres section, with Arcada undertaking civil engineering work while Alstom will supply e ERTMS Level 2, traffic control, digital interlocking and passenger information systems, as well as electrification works including power supply and OCS3 catenary installation.

As with the Aghieres - Poieni section, work must be completed within 42 months. Alstom will also install a digital control centre in Cluj which will manage traffic on the entire line.

“These new contracts strengthen Alstom’s leading position in the Romanian railway market, both in terms of digital train control solutions and in railway electrification,” says Alstom general manager for Romania, Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova, Mr Gabriel Stanciu. “In recent years, Bucharest has become a strategic centre for Alstom’s railway signalling expertise, with over 200 highly qualified engineers whose skills serve local and international projects.”

In October 2022 CFR awarded a €490m contract for modernisation of the 50km Lot 4 to a consortium of Italian construction company Webuild and partners Pizzarotti and Salcef. This contract included equipping the section with ERTMS Level 2 signalling.

In November 2022 CFR announced that Lot 3, modernisation of the 52.7km section from Poieni to Aleşd, had been awarded to a consortium of FCC Construcción, Gulermak and CCN for Lei

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