Romania 2023. Day 1. Chișinău - Bucharest
The railway station in Chișinău is, or could be, beautiful. It suffers from neglect and Moldova's inexplicable love affair with dull gray paint.
The train that runs between Chișinău and Bucharest is charitably called an express train. It's also charitably called modern. It consists of Soviet-era carriages mildly refurbished to be able to connect to Romania's actual modern trains:
The corridor and the rest of the carriages are unchanged from the Soviet times. It should be noted that everything is very clean even if it doesn't often look like this in the pictures.
A view into the "restaurant". Snacks, and alcohol:
The toilet is still a hopper toilet. That is, you step on a pedal, the bottom opens up and everything is dumped outside. They keep it locked during stops, for obvious reasons :)
It's an unwritten law that you must eat when you travel. This time with some traditional plăcinte.
The track gauge in the former Soviet Union is wider than the track gauge in Europe. On the border with Romania the carriages are lifted up and fitted with new wheels (called bogies).
As you can probably guess, the entire system was built in Soviet times and never updated or repaired since.