European railways carry over 10,000 tonnes in humanitarian aid to Ukraine
Until last week, more than 10,000 tonnes in humanitarian aid was brought into Ukraine by over 1,600 cargo wagons. Several thousand tonnes were transported on passenger trains. Railway undertakings from all across Europe, together with Ukrainian Railways have made this happen since the war in Ukraine started, and the efforts are still ongoing.
The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) reported these figures, based on their member’s activities up to 27 March. They also spoke of the extensive efforts in providing transport to over 1.3 million refugees. “For those remaining, humanitarian aid into the country is providing a vital lifeline”, the CER said.
Rail bridge for Ukraine
One of the main contributors has been Deutsche Bahn, which has set up a rail bridge for humanitarian aid. Railways undertakings from across Europe linked to this corridor from various corners, such as Spain, France and Italy. Container trains loaded with food, blankets, first aid kits, power banks and warm clothing have made it to Poland in this way. Here, PKP Cargo and PKP LHS jump in, to pass on the goods to Ukrainian Railways.
Ten thousand tons of relief supplies have already been transported in the first two weeks of operation. The goods are donated by companies and many private individuals at collection points set up around Germany by DB Schenker.
Aid is transported by train all the way from Spain, with Renfe reporting a first 400-tonne shipment from Madrid on 24 March, linking up via France to the solidarity corridor from Germany. SNCF too has sent a first humanitarian train to Romania in collaboration with DB, with a second convoy scheduled.
Aid from Italy is arranged by FS Group, in collaboration with the Italian Department of Civil Protection. Another chain has been set up by Rail Cargo Group (RCG) via its Czech subsidiary, working in collaboration with ČD Cargo, which has also dispatched humanitarian trains. Such rail corridors are enabling the transport of large volumes of donations, making it possible to free up warehouse space, ready to receive new waves of solidarity.
Poland and Ukraine
Although there are multiple corridors to Ukraine, much of the aid transits through Poland, where PKP Cargo helps with the handling and delivery to Ukraine. Both PKP Cargo and PKP LHS run humanitarian aid trains. Inside Ukraine, Ukrainian Railways continue to transport the aid where it is needed around the country.
In cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Health, PKP Intercity has prepared a special medical train stocked with provisions and blankets for refugees and cars that have been equipped for the care of injured persons. Trenitalia has also put its medical train at the disposal of authorities managing the Ukrainian emergency.
Attend this conference
Do you want to discuss the impact of the current situation on the rail freight industry? This Wednesday 6 April, we organise a special edition of the RailFreight Summit in Brussels. We will talk about sanctions, the volumes, the Middle Corridor and the future of the rail freight industry. Tickets are still available and can be found here.