Officials say a new train will connect Romania to Moldova, shortening the journey by an hour and also removing a symbolic barrier between the neighbors.

Transportation ministries said the first train departed Wednesday from Moldova's capital, Chisinau, and arrived in the northeastern Romanian city of Iasi three hours later.

Railway engineers have adapted an old goods' train track in Romania used for trains coming from Moldova.

Until now, train wheels had to be adapted at the border. Romania has a standard European gauge of 1,435 mm (4 feet 8 1?2 in), while Moldova uses the broad Russian gauge 1,520 mm (4 feet, 11 inches) used in former Soviet states.

The train will make a daily return journey. Moldova was part of Romania until 1940.