Ukrzaliznytsia together with the Italian railway operator Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane SPA (FS) is working on a preliminary feasibility study for the introduction of high-speed railway traffic in Ukraine within the framework of a previously signed memorandum. This was announced by the acting. Chairman of the Board of JSC "Ukrzaliznytsia" Ivan Yurik during the Ukrainian-Italian business forum, which took place as part of the official visit to Ukraine of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Luigi Di Maio.
“Ukrzaliznytsia is now in the stage of large-scale restructuring. We want to get rid of the Soviet legacy both in legal terms and in terms of rolling stock and infrastructure. And that's why we need investments to organize services, to put our assets in order. We need investments to upgrade the locomotive segment, car fleet and infrastructure, ”he said.
Ivan Yurik emphasized that Ukrzaliznytsia has set itself an ambitious goal - the introduction of high-speed railway traffic in Ukraine, and this issue is also one of the priorities of the state, which is fixed at the level of the National Transport Strategy of Ukraine for the period up to 2030.
“I must say frankly: now we do not have the technology for high-speed traffic. The maximum speed that we can provide in complete safety mode is 160 km /h. Therefore, now we are in negotiations with our Italian partners about the possibility of launching such a project, we are studying in detail the materials and possibilities to implement it in Ukraine, "added the head of Ukrzaliznytsia.
He also clarified that the main goal is not just to implement a separate local project, but to combine it with the European network.
“Our idea is to make a Ukrainian passenger feel like a European, when you can get on a train in Kiev, Odessa or Lviv, and get off in Warsaw or another European capital. As I said, this is very ambitious, it requires significant financial investments. Now we are only at the beginning of this journey. Now our task is to make a feasibility study in partnership with our European colleagues, ”said Ivan Yurik, adding that according to preliminary estimates, this project could cost 15-16 billion US dollars.
Ukrzaliznytsia is very interested in this project and hopes to receive a draft feasibility study for the project by the end of the year to take further steps.
“I am sure that cooperation with a wide range of our European partners will have positive results in the near future, in particular, it will allow us to learn from the implementation of such projects and attract financing on favorable terms,” concluded Ivan Yurik.