Moldova - General Information

Revision as of 06:54, 24 September 2019 by Paul Steane (talk | contribs) (→‎Special Notes: Transdniestria amended to Transnistria for consistency.)
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Country Name

Moldova (Republica Moldova)

National railway system

National Railway Operator

CFM - Caile Ferată Moldova.


The Constitution of 1994 states that "the national language of the Republic of Moldova is Moldovan, and its writing is based on the Latin alphabet," while the 1991 Declaration of Independence names the official language Romanian. The 1989 State Language Law speaks of a Moldo-Romanian linguistic identity. Russian is provided with the status of a "language of interethnic communication" (alongside the official language), and in practice remains widely used. Gagauz and Ukrainian have significant regional speaker populations and are granted official status together with Russian in Gagauzia and Transnistria respectively.


Moldova Leu (MDL; plural Lei), 1 Leu = 100 Bani (singular Ban). In Transnistria, a partially recognized state claimed in whole by Moldova, the Transnistrian rouble is used instead.

UIC code

numeric 23; alpha CFM.


Journey Planner

None. However a station to station timetable facility is available at [1]. On the menu bar select Transportul de Pasageri then select Mersul Trenilor.

Downloadable Timetable


However, a good privately compiled timetable is available.

Printed Timetable

Probably no public timetable as such.

Engineering Information



Printed Maps

  • European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
  • An excellent 1:200.000 Moldova map, produced by the Kiev map publishers, can be found in book shops in Chişinău or in larger Ukrainian towns. It is very like the popular Ukraine Oblast maps.

Web-based Maps


Opportunities to use credit or debit cards at ticket offices may be limited, particularly in Transnistria. Normally, payment is possible only in local currency. Purchase of tickets from Transnistria to Chisinau may be possible only at limited times.


Infrastructure Authority

Not known.

Network Statement

None known.


"Russian" gauge (1520mm). There is a gauge changer at Ungheni, where bogies are changed.



Rule of the road

All lines are single track.


No source known

Other railways


Tourist lines






Recent and future changes

The 2015-2016 station departure times on the CFM website show no passenger trains running from Basarabeasca to Reni (Ukraine) and Rogojeni to Șoldănești, which is the end section of the Bălți-Slobozia to Șoldănești branch. It is unclear when these services were withdrawn and information would be welcomed. Substantial investments have been made in building new railway lines since 2003, with the goal of connecting Chişinău to southern Moldova and the Giurgiuleşti oil terminal. The first such segment was the 40 km (25 mi) Revaca-Căinari line, opened in 2006. Services have restarted operating through Transnistria, the Russian backed breakaway province of Moldova, with a daily Chişinău to Moskva service routed this way.

The 53 km long Cahul - Giurgiuleşti line, opened only in 2008, closed in summer 2012 because 20 km of track near the river Prut need rebuilding owing to poor construction. The one Besarabeasca <-> Cahul train was reported to have been withdrawn by August 2013. As the cross-border service between Prut-2 and Fălciu CFR, re-introduced in 2010, was missing from the 2011-2012 and subsequent timetables the entire line west of the junction at Abaclia is now without a passenger service.

The service between Ocnita and Chernivitsi (Ukraine) was withdrawn by August 2013. This line crosses the border 4 times west of Larga/Larha. By summer 2014, Ukrainian Railways had rerouted the overnight service 117/118 'Bukovina' (Chernivtsi-Kyiv) via Moldova between the Moldovan border stations of Medveja and Criva. see Border Crossings.

An agreement was signed in October 2015 to reopen the Basarabeasca - Berezyne (Ukraine) line, closed to all traffic in 1997 and lifted in 1999. Work will start in summer 2016. This will enable traffic between the two countries to avoid passing through the breakaway territory of Transnistria.

Moldova is to receive €100 m in loans and grants from the EIB and EBRD. Most of this will be used to modernize the Chişinău - Ungheni line. It is said that the line will also be converted to 1435 mm gauge. This seems most unlikely as it would cut off northern Moldova from Chişinău and it is more likely that dual 1435/1520 mm is meant.

Special Notes

Transnistria, also known as Trans-Dniestr or Transdniestria is a breakaway territory located mostly in a strip between the Dniester River and the eastern border with Ukraine. It is generally recognised internationally as being the de jure government of Eastern Moldova as the Stînga Nistrului ("Left Dnestr bank") autonomous region. Since its declaration of independence in 1990, it has been governed de facto by the unrecognized Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublica (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic - PMR, also known as "Pridnestrovie"), which claims the east bank of the river Dniester and the town of Bender and its locality on the right bank of the Dnestr. The Republic of Moldova does not recognize this secession and considers it to be part of Moldova.

Travellers entering Moldova from Transnistria do not receive an entry stamp because the Republic of Moldova considers Transnistria to be part of Moldova. Until recently, this caused problems on leaving Moldova as it could be construed as having entered the country illegally. To avoid problems on leaving Moldova, it was recommended to cross Transnistria only from west to east, or to cross the whole of Moldova in the same train from Kučurhan to Iaşi, using the Saratov – Varna summer-only train. However, Moldovan police appear to accept a Ukrainian exit stamp at the Kuchurhan border crossing as a semi-official entry stamp for Moldova.

However, see the Novosavickaia CFM - Kuchurhan UZ border crossing for the situation with local services to and from Bender.

Photographers must ask permission from railway staff and police before taking pictures. Often they give permission, but do not attempt to take pictures if they refuse it.

See also

Transit train trough Moldova: