Ukrainian rail industry needs a new Marshall Plan
The Global Ukraine Rail Task Force is asking for a new Marshall Plan for the Ukrainian rail freight sector. The plan, as the name suggests, would be similar to the Marshall Plan, implemented by the United States after WWII to bring stability back to Europe. The task force pointed out the key role of the railway throughout the war, defining it as “the lifeline for the country”.
The first proposal of a new Marshall Plan for Ukraine was brought forward by the CEO Ukrainian Railways, Oleksandr Kamyshin, who is also a member of the task force committee. The ‘new Marshall Plan’ label was coined by German chancellor Olaf Scholz at a meeting in Berlin last month.
How to implement the new Marshall Plan?
According to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the World Bank estimated that the cost inflicted on Ukraine revolved around 350 billion euros. It is not yet clear how the plan would be implemented and what can be done for the rail.
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have launched a pre-feasibility study to explore the possibility of extending the European gauge to Ukraine and Moldova. On the other hand, Ukrainian agrarians have expressed their preference for implementing the Russian broad gauge to Poland, rather than the European gauge to Ukraine.
The Global Ukraine Rail Task Force
The task force was launched at the beginning of the war by a group of rail experts. The Task Force is an advisory body and the members are all volunteers working in individual capacities. The Global Ukraine Rail Task Force is an advisory body and the members are all volunteers working in individual capacities.
The task force has four main objectives: address the humanitarian crisis, rebuild the Ukrainian rail sector infrastructure, address passenger rail capacity, and maximise freight capacity. The last goal aims at increasing Ukrainian exports to the EU and increase the import of fuel.
The task force is chaired by Jolene Molitoris, former Administrator of the United States Federal Railroad Administration, and Nick Brooks, Secretary General of the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe.