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11 Jul. 2023

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Ukrzaliznytsia's international trains: why does Ukraine still not have a wide railroad connection with Europe?

Transport
Ukraine

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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

Book bus, train, and plane tickets to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world
Book bus, train, and plane tickets to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world
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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.




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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.




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