Ukraine Builds Narrow European Rail Gauges

by Olha Povaliaieva
Friday, May 27, 2022
Ukraine Builds Narrow European Rail Gauges

The PM of Ukraine announced the phased construction of narrow gauges for communication with the countries of Europe

On May 25, Denys Shmyhal announced Ukraine’s new plans for Europeanization at a parliamentary session. According to the announcement from the prime minister of Ukraine, the country will move away from the rail traffic that has survived since the Soviet Union. In Ukraine, will replace wide gauges with narrow gauges.

Trains in Ukraine travel on a "wide" route (1.520 mm). The same rails are on the territory of the countries of the former USSR: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Belarus. In Europe, trains follow a "narrow" path (1.435 mm). The only exception for the European Union is Spain and Portugal. 

This difference makes exports of goods and passenger transport more difficult than they could be. Therefore, in the light of recent events, it would be appropriate for Ukraine to approach European standards.

Operating director of railway operator Ukrzaliznytsia Viacheslav Yeremin said that the change of track is expensive, long, and difficult, but necessary. Yeremin reported on the consideration of several stages of replacement. These stages include the construction of their track in the following directions:

  • Lviv-Kyiv;
  • Lviv-Odesa;
  • Lviv-Kryvyi Rih.

Denys Shmyhal confirmed that the replacement of the old gauge will be slow and gradual.

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