In the fast-growing East European economies, a parti cularly important role falls to the transport systems that are called upon to move an ever-rising volume of goods and a con stantly increasing number of passengers. Gaining new insights into the problems that face those transport systems, into their achievements, and into some still unanswered questions is therefore highly interesting and--in terms of world experience --essential. The transportation systems of Eastern Europe operate within a centrally planned environment, but they serve dif ferent types of economies, from highly advanced East Germany and Czechoslovakia to the still industrializing Romania and Bulgaria. They have to satisfy fairly diversified transport needs: they operate within systems that have adopted different scales of political and economic priorities and different methods and forms of achieving them politically--from the faithful Soviet shadow-state of East Germany to the indepen dence-seeking Romania and Yugoslavia and, economically, from the traditionally strict authoritarian form of Romania that seeks industrialization and state power to the New Economic Mechanism of Hungary and the decentralization of Yugoslavia. Also, unlike the Soviet Union, the East European transport sys tems cover relatively small territories whose external connec tions differ from one another in scope and in modes. In addi tion, the transport systems of Eastern Europe have been called upon to accomplish feats of steeply rising performance with x infrastructures and equipment supported by miserly allocations.