Căile Ferate Române

Căile Ferate Române
Căile Ferate Române
Type Group of public companies
Industry Rail transport
Founded companies founded on different dates in 1998. All of the member companies originate from CFR, founded 1 April 1880

Bucharest, Romania, 

Palatul CFR, Piaţa Gării de Nord
Key people Răzvan Stoica (Director General, CFR Călători)

Mihai Frasinoi (Director General, CFR Marfă)
Products Rail transport, Cargo transport, Services
Owner(s) The Romanian state
Employees 54,000 (2010)
Website Official Site
Căile Ferate Române

System map
Map of Romania's railway system

Telciu EB.jpg
Rail bridge at Telciu
Locale Romania
Dates of operation 1854–
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Length 22,247 km (13,824 mi)
Headquarters Bucharest
Website http://www.cfr.ro/
Transport in Romania

Civil Aviation


Poşta Română

Căile Ferate Române (translated "Romanian Railways", abbreviated as CFR) is the official designation of the state railway carrier of Romania. Romania has a railway network of 11,380 km (7,070 mi) of which 3,971 km (2,467 mi) are electrified and the total track length is 22,247 km (13,824 mi) (8,585 km (5,334 mi) electrified). The network is significantly interconnected with other European railway networks, providing pan-European passenger and freight services. CFR as an entity has been operating since 1880, even though the first railway on current Romanian territory was opened in 1854.

CFR is divided into four autonomous companies:

  • CFR Călători, responsible for passenger services;
  • CFR Marfă, responsible for freight transport;
  • CFR Infrastructură, manages the infrastructure on the Romanian railway network; and
  • Societatea Feroviară de Turism, or SFT, which manages scenic and tourist railways.

CFR is headquartered in Bucharest and has regional divisions in Bucharest, Brașov, Cluj-Napoca, Constanța, Craiova, Galați, Iași and Timișoara. Its International Union of Railways code is 53-CFR.[1]



Railways in the 19th century

The first railway line on Romania's present-day territory was opened on 20 August 1854 and ran between Oravița in Banat and Baziaș, a port on the Danube. The line, which had a length of 62.5 km, was used solely for the transportation of coal. From 12 January 1855, the line was operated by Imperial Royal Privileged Austrian State Railway Company, the Banat province being at that time part of the Austrian Empire. After several improvements in the following months, the line was opened to passenger traffic from 1 November 1856.

Between 1864 and 1880, several railways were constructed in the area of the Kingdom of Romania. On 1 September 1865, the English company John Trevor-Barkley began construction on the Bucharest–Giurgiu line. Commissioned by the King of Romania, the line was opened to traffic on 26 August 1869. The Bucharest-Giurgiu line was the first railway built on Romanian territory at that time (considering that the Oraviţa-Baziaş line was part of Austria-Hungary, even though it presently lies on Romanian territory).

In September 1866, the Romanian Parliament voted for the construction of a 915 km railway, from Vârciorova in the south to Roman in the north, via Pitești, Bucharest, Buzău, Brăila, Galați and Tecuci, all important population centres. The price for the construction was at that time 270,000 gold francs per kilometre and was contracted to the German Strousberg consortium. The line was opened in various stages, the first stage (Pitești–Bucharest–Galați–Roman) being opened to traffic on 13 September 1872, while the Vârciorova–Pitești segment was opened some time later, on 9 May 1878. The Vârciorova-Roman line was an important part of Romania's rail infrastructure because it spanned the entire Kingdom and provided an important connection for passengers and freight between several significant Wallachian and Moldavian cities.

On 10 September 1868, Bucharest's Gara de Nord (North Station) was finalised. On January 1880, the Romanian Parliament voted to transfer the ownership of the Vârciorova-Roman line from the private administration of the Strousberg consortium to state ownership, under the administration of CFR. 1880 therefore marks the start of the Căile Ferate Române institution which survives to this date. The first administration of CFR was made up of Lords Kalinderu, Stătescu and Falcoianu.

On May 1868, the Romanian state concluded an agreement with another German consortium, known as the "Offenheim Consortium", for the construction of several shorter railways in the region of Moldavia. The lines, which had a total length of 224 km, would run from Roman to Ițcani, from Pașcani to Iași and from Verești to Botoșani. In 1870, the Iași railway station was inaugurated and the lines were progressively opened from December 1869 to November 1871. Due to the poor management of the lines by the Offenheim Consortium, they were placed under the management of CFR in January 1889.

Meanwhile, during the Romanian War of Independence in 1877, Romania annexed the region of Dobrogea, which had previously belonged to the Ottoman Empire. The Romanian state placed under the management of CFR the Constanța–Cernavodă line, which had been opened during the Ottoman times in 1860. The Bucharest-Giurgiu line, the first line constructed in the Kingdom of Romania, was also placed under the administration of CFR during this time.

Hence, by 1889, the Romanian state became the owner of all of the lines in the Kingdom of Romania, the railway system having a total length of 1,377 km.

Railways in the early 20th century

CFR steam engine 230-039 exhibited in Sinaia railway station. The 230 series were steam engines used for passenger train service.

In 1918, the historical regions of Transylvania, Banat, Bassarabia and Bucovina united with the Kingdom of Romania to form Greater Romania. As a result, all railway lines in these regions, previously under the ownership of Austria-Hungary or the Russian Empire, were placed under the administration of CFR. This event was significant for Romanian railways because it meant that the large Arad rolling stock and steel factory, previously located on Austro-Hungarian territory, was now part of Romania, and was consequently used to produce a wide range of rolling stock and locomotives for CFR.

During this time, various railways were "doubled"— that is, double tracks were introduced on routes to permit a greater flow of traffic. The first line to be doubled was the Bucharest–PloieștiCâmpina line, where doubling was completed in 1912. In the period between the wars, various other lines were doubled, including:

During the 1920s and 1930s CFR also bought several new locomotives and cars, embarking on a plan of widespread modernisation. Diesel traction was introduced, and the Malaxa high-speed DMUs (a modernised version of which are still in use as commuter trains in Banat) were built.

A significant event in the history of the railways was the Grivița Strike of 1933, which occurred during the Great Depression and resulted in violent clashes between railway workers and police.

Railways in Communist Romania

050 (Prussian G10) class, Romania's standard heavy shunter after World War II

After Romania became a Communist republic in 1947, there was quite a significant amount of investment in railway infrastructure, often to the detriment of other forms of infrastructure. During this period, railways were seen as the symbol of Romania's rapid industrialisation under Communist leaders Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and later by Nicolae Ceaușescu. Aside from an increase in train traffic and the construction of various new lines, especially in rural areas, the bulk of electrification and line doubling occurred during the Communist period. Also, railways in Southern Dobruja was left to Bulgaria in 1940 and ones in Northern Bucovina and Bassarabia were to the Soviet Union in 1947.

The first line to be electrified on the Romanian railway network was the Bucharest–Brașov line, which was used by a significant amount of passenger and freight traffic. Works on electrification started in 1959, and the first electrified segment, from Brașov to Predeal, opened on 9 December 1965. By 20 April 1966, a further segment was electrified, from Predeal to Câmpina. The entire line was electrified by 16 February 1969, at a frequency of 50 Hz and voltage of 25 kV.

Various lines were also supplemented with double tracks to permit a wider flow of traffic, including:

By the mid 1970s, steam traction disappeared completely out of mainstream use, being replaced by standardised diesel and electric locomotives and cars, most of which were built in Romania, at the Astra factory in Arad.

CFR after 1989

CFR electric locomotive 060 EA1 242 at Brașov Station, Romania, May 1994

After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which resulted in the fall of Communism, Romania was left with one of the largest, most dense and most frequently-used railway networks in Europe; but at the same time having relatively outdated infrastructure. This, combined with the economic decline that Romania faced in the 1990s due to its transition to a market economy, resulted in CFR entering a period of relative decline. Several little-used routes, especially in rural areas, were cut back, and rolling stock, most of which was acquired in the 1970s, entered a period of disrepair. CFR's image, both domestically and abroad, suffered greatly, due to reports of dilapidated trains, poor service and general disarray of management.

This situation continued until the year 1998, when Societatea Naţională a Căilor Ferate Române (The National Society of Romanian Railways) was split into five independently-administered companies : Compania Națională de Căi Ferate "CFR" SA (National Railway Company "CFR" - dealing with infrastructure), CFR Călători (CFR Passenger Services - the operator of passenger trains), CFR Marfă (Freight transport company), CFR Gevaro (Services linked with restaurant cars) and SAAF (dealing with excess rolling stock to be sold, leased or scrapped). After this, the situation of Romanian railways improved significantly, mainly spurred on by Romania's economic boom after the year 2000, which permitted a considerable amount of government investment in railways and has led CFR to once again become one of the most successful railway operators in the region.

Since 1989, a number of small branch lines have been closed— especially those designated for industrial purposes or having a narrow gauge. This has been generally done due to greater competition from private bus services as well as generally low passenger numbers on those lines. The narrow gauge line from Turda to Abrud, for example, could not hope to compete with the private car or bus, the journey time being just short of six and a half hours for the 93 kilometre trip (CFR Timetable 1988, table 309). Some other line closures were thought imminent especially on the branch lines in Timiș county, which were generally very old, little-used and heavily damaged by the 2005 floods in that area; but most seem to be have been reprieved and now are operated by private operators. 1000–1500 km of railway lines have been divested of CFR control and a few have closed completely since 1990, most of which were in rural areas. Overall however, actual railway closures in Romania have been much less drastic than in other former Communist block countries (such as Hungary and Eastern Germany); indeed the "closure" figures given include lines which have been taken over by private operators and continue to operate (2010). Some standard gauge lines have in fact reopened since closure in the 1990s and some narrow-gauge tracks have recently been reopened by SFT (CFR's Railway Tourism Society) for tourism, but are only run occasionally, about twice a month (lines include Abrud-Câmpeni, Târgu Mureș-Band or Moldovița-Vama). All forestry railroads (căi ferate forestiere in Romanian) still in operation after 1989 have been privatized and sold to the forestry companies. Some, such as the Vasser Valley Scenic Railroad, have since become significant tourist attractions.

In the year 2000 some 47,560 people were employed by CFR. By July 2010 this had reduced to 25,382(see report below)in part due to the divesting of certain operations to other (private) companies. Other economies continue and are envisaged and are set out in the report Strategia de restructurare a domeniului feroviar August 2010 published by the Romanian ministry of transport (August 2010).[2]


CFR Business class wagon
A CFR Class 96 (Siemens's Desiro) train at Bucharest North Station

In the early 2000s, CFR embarked on a comprehensive modernization programme in order to improve its image, which was, both internationally and domestically, plagued by reports of poor service and outdated rolling stock. The first phases of the modernization included a refurbishment of a large number of Rapid and InterCity rolling stock, as well as a general expansion of IC services to form a Romania-wide express network.

To strengthen the growth of the Romanian InterCity network, CFR acquired in early 2003 several new Siemens Desiro trainsets, some of which were assembled in Arad, Romania.[3] Nicknamed "Săgeata Albastră" (Blue Arrow), they are used on Accelerat, Rapid and InterCity services for short and medium distances. The Desiro trainsets were used as the icons of CFR's modernisation, despite criticism that CFR shouldn't have used the Desiro trainsets, which are diesel multiple units, on mainline express services, as they are designed mainly for short-distance commuter rail, as seen by their fairly hard seating, low speed, and poor noise insulation. CFR responded to this by introducing, in late 2004, a number of new Desiro trainsets that had better sound insulation and 70 seats, instead of 110 seats, thereby increasing the width and pitch of the seats.[4] To this date, CFR continues to use Desiro trains on medium-distance routes, even though it has replaced them on several long-distance routes by other refurbished rolling stock.

Aside from the Desiro, CFR has also bought in the past few years 80 new sleeping cars (WLABmee type), couchettes, InterCity cars, as well as double-decker cars to use on Accelerat and Rapid trains of a high volume of passengers. The new CFR sleepers are currently some of the most modern in Europe, having air-conditioning, LCD screens and modern showers in each compartment.[5]

Apart from improvements in rolling stock, CFR has also bought or modernised several locomotive classes, including the widespread Class 40 and Class 41 electric locomotives.

Part of the CFR modernisation programme is the XSELL system, which seeks to establish a Romania-wide electronic ticketing system. The XSELL system was launched at Bucharest North station (Gara de Nord) in November 2004,[6] and is now in use in almost all major railway stations in Romania.

In 2003, Romanian mobile phone operator Connex GSM Romania, now Vodafone, struck a deal with CFR to provide quick mobile services to the CFR timetable and booking system. Currently, a 24-hour hotline operates where customers of Connex can call a certain three-digit number (652) and get real-time information on train routes, timetables, station platform departures, delays, prices and ticketing information and booking of trains from Bucharest North station. Orange Romania has signed a similar agreement in early 2004.

Smoking is banned on all CFR trains as of 1 September 2006.[7]

CFR services continue to improve, with the company currently reaching a turning point in its business strategy and services being some of the best in the region. However, some people have raised concerns that CFR, which has not reached profitability yet, does not have the means to finance ongoing infrastructural modernization, especially in the context of a government that is, at present, keener to develop road infrastructure at the expense of railways.

CFR initiated a major infrastructure project in April 2006 - the modernization of the Bucharest - Constanța railway line, in order to improve the maximum speed attainable on the line (from 140 km/h now to 200 km/h in 2008) and increase the capacity of the line. Completion date is estimated to be mid-2008.[8]

Partial privatisation

Although passenger railway services are not a state monopoly in Romania, CFR remains the only passenger carrier operating at a national level. However, after the reorganization of CFR in 1998, around 10% of Romanian railway tracks have been leased to private companies. These are known as non-interoperable tracks (linii neinteroperabile in Romanian). The main operators are: S.C. Regional S.R.L., S.C. Transferoviar Grup S.A., S.C. Regiotrans S.R.L., and S.C. Servtransinvest S.A. which now operate a significant number (especially Regiotrans) of routes <http://tren.transira.ro/>. Early transfers to these companies included Zărnești–Brașov, Brașov–Întorsura Buzăului, Sfântu GheorgheBrețcu, SighișoaraOdorheiu Secuiesc, ȘibotCugir, BlajPraid and Roșiori Nord–Piatra Olt lines. On these lines, CFR is not allowed to operate its trains— companies which have leased the tracks have a virtual monopoly on their usage. Aside from CFR Călători, 12 other companies provide local passenger services, on non-interoperable tracks, even though none of these services exceed 40 km in line length. 28 private companies, including Petromidia and Servtrans, operate freight transport services on main lines with their own rolling stock, leasing usage rights from CFR. As of 2005, some of the leases have been breached and the tracks have therefore fallen back under the operation of CFR. In August 2005, CFR announced that it intended to privatize CFR Marfă, its freight division.

Passenger services

Burdujeni train station in Suceava

CFR Călători, the passenger service division of CFR, operates seven types of passenger train, both on Romania's territory, with rolling stock and locomotives, or internationally, with rolling stock. Also, CFR operates international trains on Romanian territory with its own locomotives. The train types vary in terms of speed and type of rolling stock. In 2010, approximately 58 million passengers have traveled with the company. 10 million travelers have preferred private equity firms in particular on the side lines.

CFR train types are:

  • Personal (P) - the trains have assigned numbers from 2000 to 9999
  • Accelerat (A) - the trains have assigned numbers from 1000 to 1999
  • Rapid (R) - numbered from 200 to 499, from 600 to 999 and from 10000 to 14999
  • InterCity (IC) - numbered from 500 to 599
  • EuroCity (EC) - numbered as IC trains from 500 to 599
  • EuroNight (EN) - numbered as IC trains from 500 to 599
  • Special (S) - tourist trains operated on scenic routes with vintage rolling stock, numbered from S1 to S9

Aside from the seven main train types, CFR also operates night trains, which can be of any status (usually Rapid, InterCity or EuroNight). Freight trains, operated by CFR Marfă, have a different numbering system.


Commuter train in Prejmer (Tartlau)

Personal trains, also known as commuter trains (navete or trenuri de navetiști), are the most abundant type of train on the CFR passenger network. They are used for two main purposes, as shuttle, or commuter, trains, linking towns with neighbouring villages, and linking neighbouring cities with each other.

Personal trains have the lowest average speed (34.3 km/h in 2004) and the least-comfortable (usually oldest) rolling stock, and have a reputation for being very slow, crowded and generally unkempt which is only gradually changing. Personal trains operate mostly on local routes and stop at every station. Train fares for this type are the cheapest, since no supplement is paid, only the base fee, based on distance. Seats are not reservable.

Craiova - Sibiu commuter train

The rolling stock on Personal trains differs widely. On routes that link neighbouring cities with each other (such as Bucharest and Pitești), the quality of the rolling stock is much better than those services which provide a shuttle link between cities and rural areas (such as the Timișoara-Berzovia line).

Most Personal rolling stock consist of uncompartmented single and double-decker cars. Some train services of this type, especially on rural routes, only have 2nd class rolling stock (i.e. there are no 1st class carriages). As of 2007, most Personal trains have only 2nd class cars. The livery of most Personal cars is painted in blue, with the rolling stock built in the 1970s and 1980s. Some very short rural routes in Romania's Bukovina region use rolling stock from the 1940s and 1950s, refitted with bus seats and operating like railbuses. CFR is currently refurbishing a range of double-decker Personal cars, that will be used on Personal and Accelerat trains. The refurbished cars, painted in exactly the same livery as the old ones, have been introduced since 2003, and are cleaner, although they still use most of the old fittings. Some routes (like Sibiu–Craiova) are operated by Desiro trainsets whereas others are operated by modernized electric trainsets.

The new private operators also use the term personal using mainly (refurbished) railbuses.


Accelerat trains (fast trains) are used for medium- and long-distance services that stop only in towns or cities. Accelerat trains use marginally better rolling stock than Personal trains, and have higher speeds. They are also more expensive, requiring the payment of a supplement alongside the base fee. Some services of the Accelerat type require a reservation. Accelerat trains are also used for cross-regional long-distance routes (for example, Oradea to Galați, a distance of more than 830 km). Despite the long distances, Accelerat trains tend to stop in every town (even though they bypass villages) and hence are very popular, though they are seldom used for express travel between two large cities.

20-54 class wagon used for Accelerat and Rapid trains

Since 2009 the Accelerat 1821/1822 from Arad to Constanța via Deva, Tîrgu Jiu, Craiova and Bucharest also travels to Mangalia with an extra sleeperette car and sleeper car.

The Accelerat rolling stock is formed of both single-decker cars, either of the old Y type, painted in blue, plain or with a white horizontal stripe or of the new "red" series (shared with the Rapid trains) and of new double-decker cars. Single-decker cars are all corridor-type, with the old cars having 8 seats per compartment in second class and 6 in first class whereas the new cars have 6 seats per compartment regardless of class. Double-decker cars have 4 seats per row in an open plan. Accelerat trains also have a reputation for being overcrowded and dirty due to the long distances which they travel and the relatively frequent stops they make.

CFR has, however, begun a modernisation process for Accelerat services. In early 2005, it introduced a new double-decker car for medium-distance, highly-used Accelerat routes such as Bucharest–Predeal. Desiro trainsets have also been introduced on medium-distance Accelerat routes in Transylvania and Moldavia (Iași - Vatra Dornei). Longer-distance Accelerat trains often have couchettes, and sleepers started to be added again to consists after a lengthy absence. Dining cars are never used on these trains. Currently (2010 schedule), many short and medium distance routes (such as Bucharest–Craiova, Bucharest–Râmnicu VâlceaSibiu, Bucharest–Constanța, Bucharest–Galați, Bucharest–Tulcea, Galați–Brașov, Craiova–Sibiu, Timișoara–Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca–Sibiu) are served by modernized double-decker cars or Desiro trainsets. Some long-distance Accelerat trains (Bucharest–Timișoara, Bucharest–Târgu JiuArad, Bucharest–Cluj-Napoca–Satu Mare, Bucharest–Iași, Bucharest–Vatra Dornei, Iași–Timișoara, Sighetu Marmației - Bucharest) also use modernized Rapid-style cars.


21-86 Class wagon, used for Rapid and InterCity trains
20-76 Class wagon, used for Rapid and InterCity trains

Rapid trains are significantly faster and more comfortable than Accelerat and Personal trains, and are the ones most commonly used for long-distance express travel between major Romanian cities. In 2011 all "Rapid" trains are modern cars. Rapid trains operate only on main lines between key population centres, making stops only in major towns and cities. Unlike Accelerat trains, they don't provide cross-regional long distance services, focusing instead on highly-travelled routes and making few stops.

Rolling stock on Rapid trains has recently been the object of CFR's modernisation plan. Various classes of cars have been refurbished, and fitted with air-conditioning, ecological toilets, etc. However, a small and rapidly-declining number of Rapid rolling stock, mainly on lesser-used routes, remains fairly aged and outdated. As of 2004, Siemens Desiro DMUs have been introduced on medium-distance Rapid routes. Most Rapid rolling stock is painted in red, usually with a white horizontal stripe. All cars are compartmented and first class is usually air-conditioned, with 6 seats per compartment both in second class and first class. Sleepers, couchettes and dining-cars are available on most long routes.

In the summer holiday season 2009, Rapid trains travel from Timişoara Nord, Oradea, Satu Mare and Sighetu Marmatiei down to the Romanian Black Sea Coast, having 1st/2nd class cars and sleeperettes/sleeper cars.

From Sighetu Marmatiei the Rapid train needs over 21 hours to complete the 850 km trip, from Satu Mare nearly 22 hours to complete the 928 km trip. from Oradea over 19 hours to complete the 913 km trip, from Timişoara Nord over 15 hours to complete the 795 km trip.

In the case of travelling such a long distance as mentioned above, it is recommended to book a sleeperette (you can choose between 4-6 passengers in a compartment). The 6 passenger-compartment is the cheapest option for a higher comfort. Fares and timetables can be checked on www.infofer.ro (click the English flag).


InterCity (IC) is CFR's premier train type and is used for daytime express services between major cities, as well as shuttle services between Bucharest and the Black Sea coast and the Carpathian mountain resorts of Sinaia and Predeal. InterCity trains typically only stop in large cities (generally of over 100,000 inhabitants). InterCity trains are the fastest out of all the train types, having an average speed of 87 km/h in 2004, and also use the most modern and comfortable rolling stock, rivalling the premier services of other European carriers. Due to this, InterCity prices include a significant supplement alongside the base fee. However, due to the fact that IC services are only slightly more expensive than Rapid services, InterCity trains have become very popular for both travellers and businesspeople.

There are two main types of InterCity rolling stock: standard (or "classic") and Desiro. The standard InterCity rolling stock is either new or refurbished (all IC rolling stock was built after 1995), with air-conditioning, power-plugs (in both 1st and 2nd class carriages) and plush bucket armchairs, as well as complementary newspapers, free meals and airplane-like service in first class. These trains generally have a reputation for their high levels of comfort, cleanliness and service. The InterCity standard livery is usually grey and red, especially in the case of the C160-class rolling stock, which is the newest type. Most InterCity rolling stock is compartmented, even though recently there has been a trend to abolish compartments in the process of refurbishing cars.

High-passenger and international IC services, such as the Bucharest-Constanța route, use the Romanian-built Astra AVA-200 cars, which have a maximum speed of 200 km/h and are the most comfortable rolling stock in the CFR fleet. In fact, according to Friends of CFR, a Romanian railway journal, there was a considerable downgrading in quality when the Bucharest–Vienna IC service switched from being operated by CFR to being run by Austrian Railways (ÖBB) in 2003, leading to numerous complaints that the route should revert back to CFR cars instead of Austrian ÖBB cars.

Beginning with December 2006, the company introduced the business service on certain IC routes (București Nord - Timișoara Nord, București Nord - Oradea). These wagons were refurbished by CFR Griviţa and they provide two classes: standard and standard exclusive. According to class, these rail cars provide leather or fabric-covered armchairs, monitors, individual displays for every seat, 4 channel audio system with earphones, wireless internet access, bar, air conditioning, and they are equipped with an elevator for disabled travellers.

The Siemens Desiro rolling stock, coloured in blue and white, which uses DMUs, is used for shorter-distance IC services, usually with only one or two intermediary stops (for example, the Sibiu–Brașov route). They are also used on non-electrified routes, for example IC 571 from Gara de Nord, Bucharest, to Galați via Urziceni. As of December 13, 2009, InterCity trains operate on the following routes:

Route Rolling stock
Classic Desiro
Bucharest – Iași Yes
Bucharest – BacăuSuceava Yes
Bucharest – Ploiești – Brașov Yes
Bucharest – Brăila – Galați Yes
Bucharest – Brașov – Alba IuliaArad Yes
Bucharest – Brașov – Cluj-Napoca – Oradea Yes
Bucharest – Brașov – Miercurea Ciuc – Târgu Mureș Yes
Bucharest – Craiova – Timișoara Yes

Before early 2003, there was also a train type known as InterCityExpress (ICE), which ran from Bucharest to Constanța, but these have been discontinued and transformed into IC, while maintaining the same rolling stock.

EuroCity and EuroNight

EuroCity (EC) and EuroNight (EN) are international trains which are usually run by CFR in partnership with another national carrier, depending on the origin and destination of the route. There trains are part of the pan-European express railway network. Not all international trains that come to or via Romania are of EC or EN type— most are usually run as Rapid trains on the territory of Romania. However, the night train from Belgrade to Bucharest is run as a EuroNight train, and there is both a EuroCity and a EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest via Arad. EuroCity trains are almost always comfortable and modern, even though not perhaps as comfortable as InterCity, since they generally use the same rolling stock as Rapid trains. EuroNight trains use modern sleepers and have a generally good safety record.

The CFR operates several different types of sleeping cars in EuroNight and other night trains. In international trains, the sleeping cars built by Deutsche Waggonbau AG around 1990 are preferred as these have a good level of comfort and showers. They are currently undergoing serious refurbishment to comply with international standards. In addition, several older types of sleeping cars (WLAB33, T2S) were recently bought second hand from Germany; these are being modernized and mostly used inside Romania and to the neighbour countries (as shown in the picture). They have replaced the archaic OSShD-B/Y sleeping cars previously used in these services.


The speed limit for all trains in Romania is 140 km/h, although the only sectors trains run at that speeds are Bucharest–Câmpina and Bucharest–Constanța, which is now undergoing heavy modernisation works, which will allow trains to go as fast as 160 km/h, and the only trains allowed to go that fast are those of InterCity and Rapid type. All other trains have a general speed limit of 120 km/h. Average operating speeds (including all stops in stations) according to CFR, were in 2004:

  • 34.3 km/h for Personal trains
  • 67 km/h for Accelerat trains
  • 85 km/h for Rapid trains
  • 87 km/h for InterCity trains

The longest train route, as of 2005, is the one between Iași, in the north-east, and Timișoara, in the west, which takes 15 hours with an Accelerat-type train. The longest route for an InterCity train (Oradea – Constanța) takes 12 hours to complete.

Freight services

Freight services in Romania are operated mostly by CFR Marfă, the freight division of CFR, as well as by 28 other private companies who operate on lines leased from CFR Infrastructură. The CFR Marfă fleet is made up of 987 locomotives,[9] most of which were built in Romania or the former Yugoslavia. The fact that rail freight remains maintains a strong market share in Romania, as well as a number of efficiency reforms, has led CFR Marfă to perform quite well financially in recent years, even though it remains loss-making. In 2003, the CFR Marfă's net loss was 8.8 million new lei (approximately US$3 million), reduced from 141.5 million new lei in 2002.[10]

CFR Marfă freight train contains diesel product
Main groups of goods carried on CFR Marfă services (2004)
Type of goods %
Coal 39.5
Oil products 10.9
Quarry and ballast products 3.8
Common metals and common metal articles 12.4
Cement 2.7
Ore 4.0
Agricultural products 3.6
Chemicals 4.2
Other 18.9
Source: The structure of the main groups of goods carried on the railways in 2004

Freight trains follow the same speed limits to those issued for passenger trains, although hazardous materials, explosive, nuclear, flammable, chemical or otherwise dangerous trains have a special regime. Most locomotives have a physical speed limit of 200 km/h, but freight trains are not usually run at speeds exceeding 100 km/h.

Main lines

Line 200 Brașov–SibiuVințu de JosDevaAradCurtici

Line 300 Bucharest–Ploiești–Brașov–SighișoaraCâmpia Turzii–Cluj-Napoca–Oradea–Episcopia Bihor

Line 400 Brașov–Sfântu GheorgheToplițaReghinDejJibouBaia MareSatu MareHalmeu

Line 500 Bucharest–Ploiești–BuzăuFocșaniBacăuRomanSuceava–Vicșani

Line 600 FăureiTecuciBârladVaslui–Iași–Ungheni

Line 700 Bucharest–Urziceni–Făurei–Brăila–Galați

Line 800 Bucharest–FeteștiCernavodă–Constanța–Mangalia

Line 900 Bucharest–Craiova–Drobeta-Turnu SeverinCaransebeșLugoj–Timișoara–Stamora Moravița

Locomotives and stock

CFR Călători (passenger services) and CFR Marfă (freight services) use a range of electric (known as LE), diesel electric (LDE), diesel hydraulic (LDH) and diesel mechanical (LDM/LDMM) locomotives. SFT (tourist railways division) uses steam locomotives (both narrow gauge and standard gauge) and diesel mechanical locomotives.

Each of the four CFR divisions have their own locomotives, and these are generally not interchanged. For example, a CFR Marfǎ locomotive should not be used to pull a CFR Cǎlǎtori train. In practice however, this rule does not hold, and frequently the companies use other rolling stock through informal lease agreements. Moreover, private companies' rolling stock is used at times, usually because of emergencies (such as a locomotive breaking down and requiring a replacement to keep the line open, and an unused private locomotive being closer).

Electric locomotives

Most of the electric locomotives employed by CFR were built by Electroputere Craiova (known as EA-type) and Rade Končar Zagreb (known as EC-type). All are built for standard gauge (1435 mm) and run using a catenary wire at 50 Hz 25 kV AC. All trains have electric heating. CFR currently owns 1,066 electric locomotives, 933 of which were built by Electroputere(Class 40,41,42) and 133 built by Končar(Class 43,44,46). Older electric locomotives are painted in grey livery, while modernised (post-1999) rolling stock use red livery.

Name Builder Specifications and Notes Maximum speed Years built
Class 40 Electroputere 5100 kW or 6600 kW (Softronic Phoenix passenger) Co'Co' axle formula 120 km/h and 160 km/h (Softronic Phoenix passenger) 1965–1991
Class 41 Electroputere 5100 kW Co'Co' axle formula 160 km/h 1966–1991
Class 42 Electroputere 5100 kW Co'Co' axle formula. Only 1 was built, for speed tests. 200 km/h 1977
Class 43 Končar 3400 kW Bo'Bo' axle formula 120 km/h 1973–1984
Class 44 Končar 3400 kW Bo'Bo' axle formula 160 km/h 1973–1984
Class 45 Electroputere - Siemens Mobility 5100 kW Co'Co' axle formula. Heavily modernised class 41 locomotives, with new bogies, gears, control systems and brakes. First CFR locomotives to use computerised traction control. 24 are currently in service, with 20 currently being converted from class 41. 160 km/h 1999–2000
Class 46 Končar and Softronic 3840 kW Bo'Bo' axle formula heavily modernised class 43/44 locomotives. 160 km/h 1999–2001
Class 47 Electroputere - Softronic (subclasses 476 and 477 - "Delfin", and 478 - Softronic Phoenix freight) or Promat (subclasses 470, 474) 6600 kW Co'Co' axle formula, modernized from Class 40 and 41 for heavy loads. Only 1 is owned by CFR Călători; the others belong to freight operators, including CFR Marfă. 120 km/h; 160 km/h (subclass 476) 2006–present
Class 48 Softronic 8200 kW Co'Co' axle formula new build Softronic Transmontana locomotive. 160 km/ 2010–present

Diesel locomotives

CFR's diesel locomotives have been built by Electroputere Craiova (classes 60 to 68) and FAUR Bucharest (classes 69 to 95). In recent years, diesel locomotives are mostly painted in a blue livery, while older ones have a grey livery.

Classes 60 and 62 have as prime mover a twin-bank cylinder Sulzer 12LDA28 diesel engine rated at 2100 hp@750rpm, being derated from its nominal power by a smaller turbocharger and a lower max rpm. The difference between classes 60 and 62 is that the class 62 features traction motors certified and capable of pulling passenger coaches at 120 km/h instead of the 100 km/h allowed for class 60.

Classes 63 and 65 are modified by replacing Sulzer engines with 2 stroke 8 cylinders EMD 8-710G which develop 2150 hp at crankshaft at 900 rpm, the generators were replaced with alternators and DC traction motors were replaced with new ones. Class 63 has as max speed 120 km/h while class 65 is limited to 100 km/h. 63 and 65 are in service for CFR Calatori only in passenger coaches' traction. 63 and 65 do not feature Dynamic Braking Systems available in North America

The following classes are currently in service:

Name Type Specifications and Notes Maximum speed Years built
Class 60 Diesel electric 1546 kW and 1700 kW (Remarul Carpathia 2300 DE-M) Co'Co' axle formula 100 km/h 1959–1981
Class 62 Diesel electric 1546 kW Co'Co' axle formula 120 km/h 1966–1981
Class 63 Diesel electric 1582 kW Co'Co' axle formula. Modernised version of class 62 (includes electrical train heating and turbocharged 2 stroke,V8 EMD 8-710G diesel engine). Ca. 60 (including Class 65) in service. 120 km/h 2000–present
Class 65 Diesel electric 1582 kW Co'Co' axle formula. Modernised version of class 60 (includes Electrical Train Heating and turbocharged 2, V8, EMD 8-710G diesel engine). 100 km/h 2004–present
Class 67/68 Diesel electric 1546 kW Co'Co' axle formula. Same as class 60, but uses broad gauge (1520 mm) for railways near the Moldovan and Ukrainian borders. 100 km/h 1959–1988
Class 69 Diesel electric 920 kW, Bo'Bo' axle formula. 18 are currently in operation. 100 km/h 1975–1977
Class 73 Diesel electric 920 kW, Bo'Bo' axle formula. Same as class 69 but with two air compressors. 10 are currently in operation. 100 km/h 1975–1977
Class 80 Diesel hydraulic 920 kW, B'B' axle formula. Uses steam heating. 100 km/h 1966–1985
Class 81 Diesel hydraulic 920 kW, B'B' axle formula. Same as class 80, but has no train heating. 100 km/h 1966–1985
Class 82 Diesel hydraulic 1104 kW, B'B' axle formula. Based on class 80/81 overhauled by Alstom with new control systems, rebuilt body, electrical train heating and Caterpillar engine. 20 or more are currently in operation. Also 1000 kW B'B' axle formula modernized by Remarul. 100 km/h 1999–current
Class 83 Diesel hydraulic 1104 kW, B'B' axle formula. Same as class 82 but uses MTU engine. 2 are currently in use. 100 km/h 1998
Class 84 Diesel hydraulic 920 kW, B'B' axle formula. Same as class 80 but is used on broad-gauge railways. 100 km/h 1998
Subclass 841 Diesel hydraulic 1000 kW, B'B' axle formula, modernized by Remarul (Carpathia 1300 DH-M) 100 km/h 2009–Present
Class 87 Diesel hydraulic B'B' axle formula. Used for narrow gauge services. 4 are currently in operation (though 5 other locomotives are used by private operators). 40 km/h 1979–1984
Class 88 Diesel mechanical shunter 184 kW B axle formula. 81 were built originally, though a significant amount have been replaced by newer types. 40 km/h 1981–1984
Class 95 Diesel mechanical shunter 88 kW B axle formula. 8 are currently in use (3 of which are used by SFT). 55 km/h 1935–1950

Diesel multiple units

CFR Călători uses diesel multiple units (DMUs) mainly for passenger services on shorter and little-used lines, even though recently, with the introduction of the Siemens Desiro DMU, they have been used for InterCity services on longer distances.

Name Builder Specifications and Notes Maximum speed Years built
Class 77 Malaxa 88 kW power. Archaic railbus used mainly on rural routes in Banat and Bukovina. They are currently being phased out or extensively refurbished. 70 km/h 1935–1942
Class 78 Malaxa 162 kW power. 31 currently in use, with 29 fully refurbished. Most are used as official government trains or by company officials when travelling (some have beds, showers, luxury fittings and press rooms). 100/120 km/h 1939–1954
Class 79 Waggonbau Görlitz 132 kW power. Formerly used by Deutsche Bahn as class 772 railbus and comprehensively modernised by MARUB Brașov. 12 units were bought in 1993–1996 by CFR for use on rural Personal services. Some are rented to private operators. 90 km/h 1960–1977
Class 92 MARUB Brașov 153/208 kW power. Diesel hydraulic railbuses. 2 are currently in service. Contain 56 second-class seats. 80 km/h 1995
Class 96 (Desiro) Siemens AG 550 kW. Diesel mechanical DMUs. 96 currently in operation some of them with more comfortable seats. Also known as Săgeata Albastră (Blue Arrow). Currently used in Rapid, Accelerat and Personal services. The version with more comfortable seats are used as InterCity. 120 km/h 2003–present
Class 98 (formerly 91/92) Düwag 485 kW. Bought from Deutsche Bahn and contain 12 first-class and 112 second-class seats. 2 are currently in operation, on Personal services between Satu-Mare and Jibou. 120 km/h 1994

Electric multiple units

Until June 2006, there were no electric multiple units (EMUs) in service. However, CFR has recently bought some second-hand Z-6100 EMU from SNCF, and their CFL version 250 with 2 cars and 260 with 3 cars, which are currently being modernised by Remarul 16 Februarie in Cluj and will be used for commuter trains. The first one is already in service, as class 58. CFR Calatori now plans to buy some 21 new EMUs, either from Siemens, Bombardier or Alstom. They should be delivered between 2007 and 2008. There are some rumours that some high-speed EMUs will also be bought (possibly of Pendolino type) for InterCity service, on the Bucharest-Brașov and Bucharest-Constanța line. Furthermore, a 6-car regional EMU built by Electroputere has been in prototype stage since 1990 after it experienced brake and engine problems during initial testing.

Name Builder Specifications and Notes Maximum speed Years built
Class 58 SNCF (modernized by Remarul 16 Februarie) 690 kW power. Intended to be used on local and regional electrified railways. 280 seats. 120 km/h 1965–1975

Rail links with adjacent countries

Romania is linked by rail with all its neighboring countries

  • Same gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
  • Break-of-gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)/ 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in)

See also

  • Rail transport in Romania
  • Regiotrans
  • Transportation in Romania


  1. ^ "The UIC numbering scheme". Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. http://www.railfaneurope.net/misc/uicnum.html. Retrieved July 10, 2005. 
  2. ^ MT.ro
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  4. ^ (Romanian) "Noua Săgeată Albastră - De la 10 noiembrie şi pe ruta Timișoara-Reșița şi retur!". http://stiri.acasa.ro/10253.html. Retrieved July 10, 2005. [dead link]
  5. ^ (Romanian) "De la 1 mai, biletele de tren se scumpesc cu 5,6%". Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. http://www.wall-street.ro/articol/Turism-Real-Estate/1891/De-la-1-mai-biletele-de-tren-se-scumpesc-cu-56. Retrieved July 10, 2005. 
  6. ^ (Romanian) "Deschiderea Agenției de Voiaj Nr. 1". Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. http://www.infofer.ro/evenimente.htm. Retrieved July 10, 2005. 
  7. ^ (Romanian) "Fumătorii, jos din tren!". http://www.fumat.ro/stiri_ro.php?id_stire_ro=33. Retrieved October 4, 2006. [dead link]
  8. ^ (Romanian) "București - Constanta". Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. http://www.cfr.ro/cfr_new/buccta.htm. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  9. ^ (Romanian) "Parcul de locomotive CFR Marfă". http://www.cfrmarfa.cfr.ro/dreapta31.html. Retrieved October 30, 2005. 
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