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Romania has an extensive railway network ( over 11 385 km long), reaching nearly all of the country's cities (large or small), as well as a significant number of villages. As in many other Eastern European countries, efficient rail transport in Romania is hampered by the poor quality of rail infrastructure, which only allows for relatively low speeds. The main lines (those linking major cities) are in somewhat better condition, usually good enough to provide a faster trip by train than by bus between these major cities.
All the main lines and many secondary ones are operated by the state-owned company CFR . Several secondary lines are operated by private companies, the largest of them being Regiotrans .
The CFR's rolling stock is composed of a large number of 'classical' type coaches (most are relatively old, some are extensively modernized, a few are new), several refurbished French 1970's electrical multiple units and a substantial number of new Siemens Desiro diesel sets.
CFR offers four types of trains:
Personal - commuter trains that stop in every station; they are very cheap but very slow and often dirty. Usually, the coaches used on these trains are old and only have 2nd class.
Accelerat - faster train, makes fewer stops; prices are reasonable, but trains aren't always very clean. Both older and modernized coaches can be found on these trains; it's recommendable to use 1st class on them. Some long distance Accelerat trains running by night have couchettes.
Rapid - fast train, stops only in major cities and important junction points. These high-end trains are reasonably clean and both 2nd and 1st class areas are OK; prices aren't high by Western standards, but they're not cheap either. The coaches used on them are new (or modernized) and have modern interior layouts; many Rapid trains have dining cars and those running by night have sleepers and couchettes.
Intercity - fast train, stops only in major cities. These very high-end trains are just slightly more comfortable, clean and pricier than Rapid trains. On some routes Business class is available with leather seats, individual displays, wireless internet access etc.
Timetables and fares can be checked on CFR's Infofer site.
Tickets can be booked with up to 6 months in advance for any route from CFR's booking agencies, as well as from most trainstations.