Romania relaunches tender for H2 trains
Romania’s Railway Reform Authority (ARF) relaunched on March 26 on the public procurement platform SEAP, after repeated failures, the tender for the purchase of 12 H2-powered electric passenger trains.
No bidders have shown up so far, and the terms of the contract remain tricky: the price is set in local currency, and the winner will have to “operate hydrogen production and filling capacities” needed by the trains for the next 30 years.
The purchase of the H2 trains is reportedly a target under the Resilience facility, although it is perhaps rather remote as the media fails to indicate the specific deadline.
The value of the acquisition is estimated by ARF with great precision between RON 2,446,534,076.64 (some EUR 490 mln, not including VAT) and RON 4,168,505,273.28 (EUR 830 mln, not including VAT), depending on the duration of the services related to the contract – 15 and 30 years respectively, Hotnews.ro reported.
Serious questions about the opportunity of the contract have been floated. The Romanian Government’s attempt to purchase futuristic H2 trains was renewed a couple of days after a locomotive crashed into a stationary train and killed the conductor and a couple of weeks after a passenger train hit a cargo train after ignoring the red light.
At the same time, most of the railway lines in Romania are obsolete after the state-owned infrastructure has ignored them for tens of years. A train needs about ten hours to travel from Bucharest to Timisoara and eleven hours from Bucharest to Oradea. The route from Oradea to Iasi (849 km) takes 17 hours.
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