Romania - Transportation
Romania is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Romania's railroad network extends for 11,385 km (7,074 mi), of which 3,888 km (2,416 mi) are electrified. There were 153,359 km (95,297 mi) of roads at the end of 2002, of which 103,671 km (64,421 mi) were paved, including 133 km (83 mi) of expressways. In 2000, there were 3,128,782 passenger cars and 496,743 commercial vehicles in use.
Only the Danube and, to a lesser extent, the Prut rivers are suitable for inland navigation, which accounts for only about 1% of the total freight traffic. The main Danube ports include Galati, Braila, and Giurgiu. At Giurgiu, on the main transportation line between Romania and Bulgaria, a road-and-rail bridge was completed in 1954, replacing the former Danube ferry to Ruse, Bulgaria. A major project, the Danube-Black Sea Canal, designed to bypass the shallow, silted arms of the Danube Delta, was started in 1949 but abandoned in 1953; it was revived in the early 1980s and opened in 1984. The canal is 64 km (40 mi) long and connects Cernavoda with Constanta. The Romanian merchant fleet consisting of 70 vessels, totaled 561,470 GRT in 2002, and was based in Constanta, the nation's chief Black Sea port.
Romanian airports totaled 61 in 2001, of which 25 had paved runways. Otopeni International Airport, near Bucharest, was opened in 1970 and remains the nation's principal international air terminal. Baneasa Airport, also near Bucharest, handles local traffic. Other important airports include M. Kogalniceanu at Constanta and Giarmata at Timisoara. Romanian Air Transport (Transporturile Aeriene Române-TAROM) and Romanian Air Lines (Liniile Aeriene Române-LAR) are the primary air carriers. In 2001, 1,134,600 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.