Ukrzaliznytsia's international trains: why does Ukraine still not have a wide railroad connection with Europe?
Ukraine has a developed and extensive railroad network, but there are still very few international flights in the country. Find out why Ukrzaliznytsia's integration into European railways is difficult and why the transition to European standards may take 20 years
The total length of Ukraine's main railways is over 20 thousand kilometers. At the same time, 9 thousand kilometers of them are electrified. And while on a national scale this indicates a high level of development and branching of railway transport, it is a big problem in the context of European integration. Why? We will tell you further in the article.
What is the complexity of European integration of Ukraine's railway transport?
The standard width of Ukrainian railways is 1,520 millimeters, while in narrow-gauge sections it is 750 millimeters. At the same time, in Europe, railroad tracks are 1435 millimeters wide, which creates a problem.
Yes, Ukrzaliznytsia has already reconstructed some border sections to European standards, but for full European integration, the railroad tracks must be fully converted to the European standard. Given the length of the railroad network in Ukraine and the country's size, this process could take about 20 years, and the estimated cost of such integration will be at least 250 billion euros.
In addition, it should be understood that the replacement of tracks is not the only problem, as the transition to European standards will require a complete replacement of Ukraine's railway transport.
How can the problem of European integration of Ukrzaliznytsia be solved in the short term?
Ukraine can choose the path of the Baltic countries, which have adopted European standards only at key logistics hubs. That is, to reconstruct and electrify the entire border area, bring new tracks to European standards, and create transport hubs with terminals for reloading from wagon to wagon, where bogies will be rearranged.
What impact does the problem of Ukrzaliznytsia's European integration have on Ukraine's economy?
In addition to the obvious discomfort for passengers traveling abroad on international trains, there is another problem. By the way, in the near future, Ukrzaliznytsia will launch new international trains in several directions. We wrote more about this here. You can buy train, bus, or plane tickets to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world here.
Thus, the impossibility of connecting narrow European gauges with wide Ukrainian ones not only complicates the movement of passenger transport, but also loses opportunities for exporting and importing goods. And under martial law, when the russian fleet makes it impossible for Ukrainian ships to leave ports, this is almost the only way to export and import goods. Thus, considerable funds are being lost that could have stimulated the Ukrainian economy at a very difficult time for the entire country. Therefore, the issue of European integration of Ukrzaliznytsia should be resolved as soon as possible.
We remind you! The security situation in Ukraine does not stop foreign tourists from visiting the country to see the beauty of Ukrainian nature and the atmosphere of its cities. To find out why Ukraine attracts so many tourists despite the full-scale war and where people go most often, please follow the link.
Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip:
Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;
Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;
Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;
Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;
Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.
3 minEntry rules
Traveling, and especially moving to Ukraine, is primarily associated with a lot of questions. Learn all about the rules, documents, prohibitions and restrictions, as well as tourism and life in Ukraine for foreigners
08 Jul. 2023More details
2 minCost of living
The cost of living in European cities can vary significantly even within the same country. Find out about the cheapest cities in Europe where you can live comfortably and save money at the same time
09 Jul. 2023More details
1 minEntry rules
There are queues at the Lithuanian borders as border guards thoroughly check each person at checkpoints. Find out why Lithuania is tightening its borders and what you need to do to pass the check
10 Jul. 2023More details
Ukraine can surprise not only with the volume of crops grown, but also with exotic plants that are quite unusual for the local climate. Find out about the most exotic plantations in Ukraine where gastronomic wonders are grown
10 Jul. 2023More details
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.