Ukraine’s impressive large scale modernisation of its rail infrastructure
Ukraine is taking some exciting measures to modernise its railway infrastructure.
Why has it become such a hot topic? As the World Bank recently pointed out, Ukraine «needs an efficient and competitive logistics system to boost exports and its integration into the global economy». Also, as Ukraine strengthens its ties with the EU, it needs to align its infrastructure and legislations.
How does Ukraine go about modernising its infrastructure, a daunting task for any country under normal circumstances, but a herculean one for one that went through as many hurdles as Ukraine over the last years?
We’re seeing new initiatives that show Ukraine’s commitment to the large scale modernisation of its rail infrastructure. Here are three projects that, we think, will be paramount for the country:
1. A commercial agreement for hyperloop
Last June, Ukraine’s Ministry of Transportation and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced the signature of a commercial agreement.
Hyperloop is still at inception phase throughout the world. No hyperloop line has yet been opened. So what makes this project so special is that its certification by German TÜV is said to happen as early as end of this year.
How does Ukraine intend to achieve this? The commercial agreement sets out the construction of the first hyperloop in phases, the first one being the building of a 10km track. It will be used to create a legal framework for certification. If approved, it will serve as a basis for other hyperloop projects around the world.
Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, recently stated that “We have set a course to bring Ukraine’s infrastructure into the 21st century. (…) Hyperloop is a key component to our goals of creating a smart and sustainable transportation infrastructure.”
2. $1billion agreement with GE to boost Ukraine’s diesel fleet
Back in February 2018, Ukraine’s Ministry of Transportation and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced the signature of a commercial agreement.
It will deliver 225 new diesel locomotives and also upgrade 75 older models. But the best part for Ukraine? Well, the agreement says that up to 40% of the manufacturing will be localised in Ukraine.
In other words, Ukraine will not only modernise its rail infrastructure with more performing fleet. It will also boost jobs in the manufacturing sector!
A real win for Ukraine, it comes as no surprise when Prime Minister of Ukraine, Volodymyr Groysman states that the agreement «will offer a significant boost to the development of Ukraine’s transport infrastructure and domestic manufacturing”.
3. Electrification and new fleet projects in partnership with the EBRD
Ukraine continues to show its commitment to undergo a large scale modernisation of its railway infrastructure by requesting the EBRD to provide technical assistance with two major projects.
The first one aims at the electrification of a 253 km railway line in South Ukraine to improve the efficiency of the railway operations and the capacity for port hinterland traffic.
The second project is a multi-stage programme pursuing the renewal of outdated rolling stock during until 2021.
All in all, these three projects perfectly show Ukraine’s ambition to modernise its railway infrastructure. The country has bold plans in the pipeline and it seems determined to bring them to completion as early as possible.
Want to keep up with Ukraine’s dazzling infrastructure modernisation?
Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine will join us at Rail Live! on 6-7 March 2019. He will be part of a closing keynote panel discussion on 6th March to discuss the latest developments of Ukraine’s modernisation, the challenges that lie ahead and the new strategies that are being developed and implemented to overcome them.
Catriona Smith, Rail Live! 2019