Ukrainian railways set up cargo flows via new rail crossing with Moldova
The recently restored Berezyne-Basarabeasca railway line connecting Southwestern Ukraine and Southern Moldova is seeing the first freight trains transiting between the two countries. Ukrainian Railways has already dispatched trains via the Serpneve-Basarabeasca border crossing that opened on 25 March. The first cargo flows concerned construction materials and slag.
The Berezyne-Basarabeasca cross-border line between Ukraine and Moldova links the stranded Odesa region with the Ukrainian port of Reni, the Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti, but also the Romanian port of Galati, all positioned on the Danube River. From there, the Ukrainian cargo can use water services to be exported to other destinations or continue via rail to the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta.
“Thanks to this border crossing, Ukrzaliznytsia can increase the volume of export and transit transportation. According to our calculations, the station will allow the transport of an additional four to ten million tons of cargo per year. We invite businesses to use this new alternative route actively”, stated Vyacheslav Yeromin, a board member of Ukrainian Railways.
In the works for almost a year
The Infrastructure Ministries of Moldova and Ukraine signed an MoU to develop railway connections between the two countries in June 2022. In this context, they also decided to reopen the Berezino-Basarabeasca rail link, which has been in disuse for 25 years and could use some refurbishment. In total, the line is 23 kilometres long, while Moldova’s part covers a distance of just 1,2 kilometres. Understandably, most reconstruction works needed to take place on Ukrainian territory.
The rail link was ready for use by late August 2022, two months after the bilateral agreement to revitalise it. However, it took some months for Ukrainian railways to start using it. Nevertheless, in the meantime, the two countries had been using two other railway crossings along the northern Moldovan border, these between Sokyryani – Oknytsia and Mohyliv-Podilskyi – Velchynets.