Romania’s national railway company (RFC) has awarded a €246m contract to Spanish construction company FCC to refurbish and upgrade the Sighisoara-Atel section of the Simeria-Brasov railway line, in Transylvania, north of the capital Bucharest.

FCC leads the consortium, including its construction division, together with subsidiary Alpine and construction company Azvi. The project involves the refurbishment and modernisation of 28km of double-tracked electrified line.

Romanian minister of transportation Anca Boagiu was quoted by the Agerpres newswire as saying the ministry has agreed projects totaling €3.6bn.

"Another 47 projects, worth €1.9bn, are in the contract signing stage," added Boagiu.

Simeria-Brasov railway line is part of Pan-European Transport Corridor IV and is financed by the European Union. Construction work includes the execution of four bypasses measuring a total of about 9km, the remodelling of two passenger stations and of two unstaffed stations.

The partners will also build an arched viaduct with a 125 metre-span and two tunnels measuring 1,370 metres in total.

Additionally, the contract includes a complete overhaul of the electrification system, railway signalling in accordance with European standards and work on existing stations on the line. Upon completion in three years, the rail line will allow passenger trains to travel at up to 160 kilometres an hour and freight trains at up to 120 kilometres an hour.

Meanwhile, the country’s national railway operator CFR has signed contracts worth €500m this week for railway modernisation. FCC-Alpine-Azvi consortium has won a contract worth €208m for building the 23km long Sighisoara-Atel railway in three years.

Another deal worth €248m is for the construction of the Border-Curtici-Arad line, which is expected to be completed in 15 months. A consortium of Alstom-Sweitelsky-Astaldi and Euro Construct Trading ’98 – Dafora will deliver the project.

FCC noted it has been expanding in Eastern Europe and was awarded a €267m Bucharest Metro Line 5 contract in March 2011. Th European Commission is expected to allocate €930m for the modernisation of railways in Romania.