Direct railway passenger traffic between Ukraine and the European Union will be expanded, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has said.
“On December 23, 2016 the Intercity+ Kyiv-Lviv-Przemysl train was launched. This route has become very popular among Ukrainian passengers. Ukrzaliznytsia is looking into the possibility of launching the second pair of Kyiv-Lviv-Przemysl trains by another route (through Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky and Ternopil). The total population of the cities of Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky and Ternopil (with agglomerations) exceeds one million people, which means that for one million Ukrainians Europe will become more accessible,” the minister said at a briefing in Kyiv on June 6.
According to the minister, convenient transfers to train No. 233/234 Khmelnytsky-Lysychansk will be arranged at Vinnytsia and Khmelnytsky railway stations, which will provide convenient connection for inhabitants of northern Donbas, Kharkiv, Poltava to Przemysl, No. 69/70 Mariupol-Lviv (provides convenient connection for the inhabitants of southern Donbas, Dnipro, Zaporizhia, Cherkassy to Przemysl), other trains in the direction of Mykolaiv, Kherson, Odessa, Chisinau.
Thus, all regions of Ukraine will get convenient connections for routes to Poland. In addition, it will be possible to attract passenger traffic from Moldova.
According to Omelyan, starting from June 11, new railway communication between Ukraine and Poland on the Kovel-Chelm route is planned (with the possibility of extending the route through the Ukrainian territory to Lutsk and Lviv). One pair of trains on this route is currently planned with a subsequent increase to two-three pairs, depending on the passenger traffic. At the first stage, the passage of border and customs control is planned at the Yahodyn station (Ukraine) and Dorohusk station (Poland). Also, a new route Lviv-Krakow is planned to be launched on August 1.
“Until the end of the year, the Ukraine-EU rail traffic will service at least 100,000 passengers per month. Przemysl and Chelm have formed hubs for further connection with other cities in Poland and Europe,” the minister said.
Omelyan also announced “The Train of Five Capitals” project, which is aimed at connecting five capitals of Europe by rail: Kyiv (Ukraine) – Minsk (Belarus) – Vilnius (Lithuania) – Riga (Latvia) – Tallinn (Estonia) with a possible extension to Odessa to connect the route to the Baltic and Black Seas. The traffic is planned by a railway track gauge of 1,524 mm, which makes it possible not to change train wheels en route.
The infrastructure minister also expressed his hope that the construction of a new Beskydsky tunnel Tunnel in the Carpathians would be completed this year. (Interfax-Ukraine/Business World Magazine)