Ukrainian railway network withstands new round of attacks

The Ukrainian railway infrastructure has been subject to military attacks in the past few days. Despite parts of it getting destroyed, reconstruction works take place immediately, keeping cargo and passenger flows running, informed Ukrainian Railways CEO Alexander Kamyshin.

On April 25, railway infrastructure was targeted, and five railway stations came under fire. The Ukrainian armed forces command said at the time that the attacks were attempts to “destroy the supply routes of military-technical assistance from partner states”.

On Monday, 2 May, Kamyshin said the bridge over Dniester Liman connecting Odessa and Bessarabia had come under artillery fire for the third time in quick succession. Last weekend, Ukrainian Railways fended off distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on its servers, Kamyshin added. The Ukrainian Railways chief also shared images of damaged rolling stock in the besieged city of Mariupol, revealing extensive damage.

Trains keep running

The attacks in late April led to 14 train delays. However, “the longest delay lasted for an hour”, commented Kamishyn in an interview with Reuters. “It’s all about hours, not about days”, he added, indicating that specialised task forces are constantly on the move, so when something breaks down, they repair it right away.

In the meantime, Kamyshin underlined rail’s vitality to keep Ukraine on its feet. Rail operations are crucial for passengers as thousands of people use trains to move even during the war. Simultaneously, trains are critical when evacuating civilians.

On top of that, rail keeps the Ukrainian economy running as much as possible since the country has focused on train connections for exporting grain products, with its main ports being under blockage currently. Kamyshin mentioned to Reuters that “his top priority is redirecting grain exports from Ukraine’s southern ports to Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states via rail to help revive the economy”.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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