Ukraine railway track

Railway between Ukraine and Russia completely destroyed

Photo: WikipediaWikipedia

The railway line between Ukraine and Russia has been completely destroyed. Ukrainian Railways said on Saturday 26 February that it had terminated all relations and interaction with JSC Russian Railways. “We offered the railways of the Russian Federation peace and stop the war, but they continued to bring tanks and other military equipment to Ukraine and its borders”, the national railway company said.

According to the Kiev Independent, the railway lines between the countries have been blown up by Ukrainian military forces. Ukrainian Railways confirms that the railway lines have been destroyed. “Railroad crossings between countries that used to transport thousands of goods and bring millions of dollars to the economies of both countries have been destroyed”, it says.

Hard blow for transit traffic

This is a hard blow to the country’s infrastructure. Ukraine was gaining position on the New SIlk Road, as it is strategically located on the corridor between Europe and China. Especially for the Central and Eastern European market, it provides an important gateway. However, without infrastructure connection to Russia, it is likely to lose this advantage.

However, the company is confident to continue handling transit traffic. “Ukrainian Railways will completely reorient freight traffic to Europe and will continue to develop the Silk Road bypassing Russia. The company is ready to become a full member of the logistics chain of the European Union. Ukrainian Railways will also continue to develop transportation with Asian countries, including China, and provide high-quality and fast logistics between Asia and the EU, but without Russia’s participation”, it mentions on Saturday.

Open towards EU

On Friday 25 February, a representative from RDZ Logistics spoke about the topic in RailFreight Fridays. Yulia Koloslopova said she was hopeful that the conflict would end soon and traffic would once again resume between Ukraine and Russia. “Since Thursday 24 November, rail freight traffic between the countries has officially been suspended”, she said.

Industry players in Ukraine said that rail freight traffic between Ukraine and the EU was technically still possible. “However, there are not many customers that want to ship their goods to Ukraine at the moment. Our bank accounts have been frozen, so we could not even accept payments from customers if we wanted to do business. At this point, doing business is impossible”, explained a logistics provider that prefers to be anonymous.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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