INCREASED freight tariffs were introduced by Ukrainian Railways (UZ) on August 17, with the extra funds to be used to help rebuild the country’s rail network.

A two-phase increase is planned, with an extra Hryvnia 2bn ($US 7.5m) in additional revenue expected this year and around UAH 10bn next year.

“This is a record indicator of the company's revenues from changes in freight rates,” says UZ acting chairman Mr Alexander Kamyshin. “Funds from these initiatives will be used to restore the railway infrastructure: repair of tracks and electrification of the railway.”

Kamyshin says the increased charges will afford UZ the ability to start its ‘Big Construction’ programme. “The last large-scale modernisation of the railway infrastructure was carried out in 2011-2012,” Kamyshin says. “In the following years, the work was almost stopped. We will change this trend. Everyone should benefit from increased investment in infrastructure upgrades. The railway will receive modernised tracks, and shippers and passengers will receive high-quality and fast transport.”

In accordance with the order from the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the tariff for goods of the extracurricular group will increase by 25.9%. Transportation of goods for the first and  second tariff classes will increase by 8%. UZ says the tariff for empty mileage of wagons from freight of the first tariff class will increase by almost 51.8%. The next stage of tariff increase for these classes of goods is planned for January 1 when first tariff class goods will rise by 20.4% and second class by 6.5%.