Rail link in Romania reopened offers link to River Danube for Ukrainian grain

Romania has reopened a Soviet-era rail link that connects its Danube River port of Galati to Ukraine. The reopening was achieved a month ahead of schedule.

Romaninan Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu said the government refitted the link connecting Galati after works by a state-owned company began in early June.

Ukraine’s normal export route, from its ports into the Black Sea and through the Bosphorus and Marmara Sea to the Mediterranean, has been blocked since Russia’s invasion in February.

While road, river and rail routes to European countries exist, it is impossible to scale those routes up to replace completely the capacity lost from the Black Sea routes.

Romania has already facilitated the export of more than 1m tons of Ukrainian grain since the war began.

Grain coming from Ukraine via Moldova can now reach Galati directly to be transferred onto barges and then further, including to the Black Sea port of Constanta. Supplies could also be stored in a silo in Galati that has a capacity of 25,000 tons, Grindeanu said.

Romania’s largest logistics company on the Danube, Transport Trade Services SA, also said last week that it had opened a new water-only route to aid Ukrainian grain exports.