Ukraine’s rail network is managed by the state and is one of the most extensive in Europe, with over 20,000 km of track, of which 45% is electrified. On an annual basis, the rail network handles over 80% of the nation’s freight and 50% of the passenger traffic crossing the country.
By carriage volume, the Ukrainian rail network is the 14th largest in the world, the world’s 6th largest rail passenger transporter and the world’s 7th largest freight transporter.
Ukraine’s rail network is fully integrated with the networks of the neighboring countries of Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Russian Federation. The network also co-manages 40 international border crossings and services 13 seaports in the Black Sea basin.
The territory of Ukraine is crossed over by three Rail Transport Corridors No 3, No 5 and No 9. Pan-European Transit Corridor No 7 following the Danube River is linked to Ukraine through the Ukrainian ports of Izmail and Reni.
The current railway system suffers from aging locomotives and rolling stock as well as a badly depreciated infrastructure that causes traffic bottlenecks at crucial locations. The average degree of depreciation of freight cars is almost 90%, passenger cars – 92%. Almost all locomotives and 56% of passenger cars have an average age more than 40 years.
In order to guarantee growing export volumes from Ukraine and sustainable economic development goals, total need for investments in locomotives is estimated to reach around UAH 270 bn in the coming 25 years. Large-scale capital expenditures program is already on the way. In 2018, Ukrainian Railways signed a framework agreement with GE Transportation on the supply of diesel locomotives with part of their production being localized in Ukraine. Currently, 30 new locomotives are already on the track and secure almost 30% of all rail cargo transportation.