Ukrainian Railways to set up European freight branch in 2023
Oleksandr Kamyshin, the CEO of Ukrainian Railways, disclosed plans to establish a rail freight branch dedicated to cargo transport in Europe. The new subsidiary could be ready by the end of 2023; despite the many challenges entailed in setting it up. Kamyshin also underlined that establishing a European freight branch is crucial since “Ukrainian carriers face trouble working with their European counterparts”.
Probably one of the most featured executives in the railway industry for 2022, Kamyshin has kept Ukrainian Railways up and running with incredible resilience and punctuality since the first day of the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022. Both in freight and passenger services, UZ has kept the spirits high in one of the most challenging years of its history.
Consequently, it is no surprise that the Ukrainian state-owned company is ready to take a step further and set up a rail freight branch operating with a European license and registration while building a whole team to run the newly established company.
The task will be something to remember considering that apart from all the obligations mentioned above, UZ will also need to purchase new rolling stock. “There is hope, and we are doing everything to make it come true”, commented Kamyshin to the Ukrainian news agency Interfax-Ukraine.
Trying to bridge the gap with Europe
Kamyshin, who unveiled this to Interfax-Ukraine, bitterly admitted that the plans for a new subsidiary resulted from a gap noticed between Ukrainian and European rail freight. Some months of rail freight services transiting from Ukraine to the west, and vice versa, were enough to highlight issues that need resolution.
“Unfortunately, it is difficult for our cargo carriers to use European freight transportation”, said Kamyshin to Interfax-Ukraine, without explaining in depth the difficulties faced by the Ukrainian side. At the same time, he underlined how important it is to speed up the processes for the new subsidiary and that Europe should help more. “We would like the speed of approvals in Europe to be faster”, he concluded.
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