Ukraine-Romania open new cross-border line linking to Constanta

Image: Twitter Alexander Kamyshin / /

Ukrainian Railways inaugurated the newly restored Rakhiv-Berlebash cross-border line connecting Ukraine with Romania. The inauguration took place on Tuesday, 17 January, when Orest Klympush, the first Minister of Transport of Ukraine between 1992 and 1994, drove the first (passenger) train across the border.

The service follows track reconstruction work on the Ukrainian side of the border that was completed back in August. During a period of around two months, the section Rakhiv-Berlebash (19,3 kilometres) was rejuvenated. The line connects the Romanian hub of Constanta on the Black Sea with Kyiv and had been in disrepair for 17 years.

For the past months, Ukrainian Railways waited for their Romanian counterparts to do their part in reopening the line. On Tuesday, Alexander Kamyshin, CEO of Ukrainian Railways, took to Twitter to announce the inaugural service from Rakhiv, using a new diesel train that was entered into service during the war.

The border crossing before reconstruction from the Romanian side. Image: © Ukrainian Railways.

New connections for freight and passengers

Kamyshin stressed that the new line opens up a new avenue for rail freight transport to and from the port of Constanta, a major hub on the Black Sea. Passengers, on their part, gain new international transfer options now that it is possible to reach the airport in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca. The head of Ukrainian Railways also highlighted that many Ukrainians have friends and relatives in the neighbouring country. According to Kamyshin, some 30.000 Ukrainians live in the Maramureș border district in Romania.

The railway chief said a few issues regarding border control and Customs remain but added that Ukrainian vice-prime minister Oleksandr Kubrakov and the committee for Ukrainian-Romanian governmental cooperation had thrown their support behind the new cross-border link.

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This article originally appeared on our sister publication

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

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