Ukraine electrifies vital freight-dedicated railway to Poland

2021/05/05 at 10:32 AM

Ukrainian Railway has officially started to electrify the Kovel – Izov – state border line. This freight-dedicated route is vital for intensifying movement of goods between Ukraine and Poland. Moreover, the project will allow speeding up container from China to Sławków, an intermodal hub close to Katowice.

After several years of delays, Ukrainian Railway (UZ) has finally started to carry out one of its long-pending but crucial projects. In the last days of April, the state-owned company officially launched the electrification works on the Kovel – Izov – state border route. This 94-kilometre railway is a freight-dedicated line that serves as a gateway to the Broad Gauge Metallurgy Line, which runs through southern Poland to the Polish town of Sławków. Most of the activities on the mainline will start in summer.

Crucial project

“It is one of the largest and most important projects that will increase the export potential of our country. Moreover, the electrification of the railway is relevant against the background of rising prices for diesel fuel, as well as the country’s energy independence. In addition to the economic effect, which is estimated at more than 200 million hryvnia, we will achieve a reduction in emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere by 12 thousand tonnes per year and a significant reduction in noise levels,” said Ivan Yuryk, acting chairman of Ukrainian Railway.

Ukrainian railwaymen install wires over tracks, source: Ukrainian Railway (UZ)

The project has several other benefits. With its help, UZ will be able to increase weight of freight trains running on the route from 4,600 to 6,000 tonnes. As a result, this will positively impact the line capacity and reduce the delivery time including the containers from China to Sławków via Ukraine. Also, the project will help PKP LHS, the Polish operator of the Broad Gauge Metallurgy Line, to diversify range of freight transported via the route. As of today, the mentioned railway is mainly used to supply iron ore from Ukraine to Poland.

Three stages

According to the feasibility study, the estimated cost of the project is more than 1.4 billion hryvnia. Ukrainian Railway will carry out the electrification works in three stages. Initially, the railway company plans to modernise rail infrastructure and to install catenaries on the Kovel – Izov – state border section. Afterwards, the new signalling centres will be constructed at the stations of Izov and Volodymyr-Volynsky. The final stage includes the reconstruction of the warehouse building and the construction of a stationary traction substation at the Volodymyr-Volynskyi station.

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