Ukrainian Railways launches major infrastructure upgrade project in summer

Ukrainian Railways will start electrifying and modernising the Kovel-Izov-Derzhkordon route between Ukraine and Poland during the following months. Construction works will take place on several sites. The most significant concern the reconstruction of railway tracks at the Mostyska II border crossing and the modernisation of the standard gauge rail track between Kovel and the Yagodyn border crossing.

The upgrades will take place on a route with a total length of 94 kilometres. The project’s costs are estimated at around 1,4 billion UAH, or approximately 42 million euros. Alongside the upgrades on the Kovel-Izov-Derzhkordon route, Ukrainian Railway’s project will also include the upgrade and centralisation of several rail freight stations and the construction of warehouses and traction substations.

Multiple benefits

The upgrade works will impact Ukrainian rail freight transport in many ways: firstly, Ukrainian Railways will use heavier trains in this section. From 4,6 thousand tons trains could now travel weighing up to 6 thousand tons. This translates into more capacities and faster delivery of cargo.

Moreover, the electrification will benefit the region’s main cargo flows comprising of iron ore. Specifically, the transport of metallurgical goods between the Kryvyi Rih region and Poland takes place on electrified tracks until the Kovel station. However, from there until reaching Poland, trains run on diesel traction, which is significantly more expensive. After the upgrades, both parts of the route will run on electric energy, saving much of the company’s expenses.

Finally, electrification will also be crucial in environmental terms since it will reduce CO2 emissions by almost 12.000 tons per year. On top of that, it will improve life quality in the region because freight trains will produce much less noise. Companies using the route are also contempt with the developments. “These updates will speed up our logistic scale at Ukraine’s side. So we see only benefits of such reconstructions”, said Volodymyr Huz, Associated Partner of Global Ocean Link.

Modern rolling stock and infrastructure

“Currently, this is one of the largest and most important projects that will increase the export potential of our country. In addition, the electrification of the railway is relevant against the background of rising prices for diesel fuel, as well as the country’s energy independence”, commented Acting Chairman of the Board of JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia” Ivan Yuryk.

However, for these changes to have value, there is more to be done. More precisely, to keep up with the developments, the Ukrainian Railways will need to use state-of-the-art rolling stock technology and infrastructure. That is why the Ukrainian Government will create a special railway fund that will support the modernising process, said the Ukrainian Minister of Transport, Vladislav Krykliy.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

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