RAIL Cargo Group (RCG), the freight business of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), has joined with Ukrainian Railways (UZ) to launch a new, regular intermodal service between Vienna and Kyiv.

The new service was announced by ÖBB CEO, Mr Andreas Matthä, and UZ board management board member, Mr Viacheslav Yeromin, at the Transport Logistic trade fair in Munich on May 9.

Operating once a week in both directions to a fixed schedule, the new intermodal service also calls at Budapest and Lviv.

According to the partners, it offers attractive transit times and wide range of connections via RCG’s intermodal network, including maritime services and routes to Asia. RCG is present in 18 countries worldwide.

The new service also offers connections by road to any destination in Europe from Budapest and Vienna.

RCG hauls the train on 1435mm gauge from the border between Hungary and Ukraine. It also provides additional logistics services such as terminal services and customs clearance.

The freight operator has been “intensively” supporting Ukraine since the Russian invasion in March 2022. RCG has moved over 2 million tonnes of agricultural products exported from Ukraine, operating over 100 trains a month, which it says is more than any other freight operator in Europe.

“Not only Ukraine benefits from being included in the international network of ÖBB Rail Cargo Group,” Matthä says.

“The whole of Europe must grow closer together as far as rail freight is concerned. This is an important step in the right direction, for the economy, countries and the environment.”

“Ukraine is essential as a source market for European supply chains, especially in the area of raw materials and agricultural products,” Yeromin says.

“Through quality transport products, we want to ensure the country's integration into the European transport network to efficiently connect our producers, as well as our receiving markets, with European ports and logistics hubs.”