Bucharest, January 2, 2024 – # rbj – After the arrival of the first set of electric trains that will modernize rail transport in Romania, this one hibernates in a workshop of the Romanian Railways.
Cause? Poor quality of the components equipping the electrical transmission and, in general, poor quality of Polish railway equipment. They have had numerous defects and technical problems on the domestic market over the years.
Moreover, Poland is not a producer with great experience in the field.
Anyway, not bigger than Romania’s. Although it has a solid industry in the railway sector, such as the Astra plants, in Arad, or the Softronic plants, in Craiova, or the GFR factories, the Romanian Railway Reform Authority (ARF) chose this factory in Katowice, which produces electrical seals under the license of Alstom from France.
Alstom Katowice and ARF signed a contract for the purchase of at least 37 InterRegio long-distance electric trains, and putting them into circulation with passengers had to be done no later than December 31, 2023, in order not to lose 70 million Euros, European funds.
ARF announced that the first set of trains will enter CFR Călători operation from the first days of December 2023. On December 5, 2023, the electric train from Katowice arrived in Bucharest. It was scheduled to arrive in Bucharest on December 5, 2023 and to begin preparations on the part of the supplier for the official delivery to the ARF. In the first stage, after the static tests, the train will perform a series of dynamic tests (on the Faurei Ring of AFER and on the public railway network). After completing all these stages and reaching the moment when ARF can take over the train, including for the safe circulation of passengers, the train will be put into circulation by CFR Calatori, the winner of the auction for the first competitively awarded public rail passenger transport service contract. ” – transmitted ARF.
But, surprise, it didn’t start running well on the railway track because the Polish Train was about to catch fire.
As informed by those concerned, the electric train brought from Poland at the beginning of December had a short motor circuit during the tests at the Făurei test center. It is the first electric train bought by Romania in the last 40 years.
“The train did not catch fire! It’s about a short circuit at the engine’s fuel system, right when the tests were being done on the railway”, ARF assured us.
Investigations are being carried out to find out why and how it happened. It is certain that the installation must be replaced and a new one will arrive from Poland after the holidays. The train is now in the Grivita depots in Bucharest.
After a month, neither the ARF nor the Ministry of Transport say a word about why the train caught fire and how the supplier will be sanctioned for this large-scale crime.
One thing is certain: electrical equipment for railway transport manufactured in Poland is of poor quality. Those guilty of this contract should be punished. We are waiting for the reaction of the Ministry of Transport.