US Agency to develop key Ukrainian freight line to Poland
The United States is getting involved in integrating Ukraine into European railways. According to Ukrainian Railways (UZ), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will help develop the line connecting Lviv to Mostyska, on the border with Poland.
The line would be one of the extensions of the TEN-T North Sea-Baltic Corridor, and therefore, the plan is to build an infrastructure with European gauge, as UZ pointed out. More concrete details about the initiative are scarce, but this is not the first cooperation between UZ and USAID. The Ukrainian company mentioned that the US Agency has provided Kyiv with almost 22 billion euros in aid. When it comes to UZ, for example, USAID supplied 105 diesel generators.
Ukraine’s integration into EU railways
The process of integrating Ukraine into the European railway network is not just a question of gauge difference, as the European Investment Bank underlined this summer. Despite the obstacles, some things seem to be moving forward. In September, Ukraine started grain exports using Croatian infrastructure. In October, a Kyiv-Vienna connection via Budapest was tested and the first Ukrainian freight train reached Latvia after a year-and-a-half hiatus. Moreover, UZ purchased 115 standard gauge tank wagons. Over the past couple of weeks, the company tested the rail transportation of semi-trailers to Klaipeda via Kaunas, in Lithuania. As a consequence, two regular services to Gdansk, in Poland, and Kaunas should be soon activated from Kyiv.