UKRAINE has received the first batch of high-quality steel rail gifted from Japan. A total of 25,000 tonnes of rail, equivalent to 190km of track, will be delivered to Ukrainian Railways (UZ) in a deal brokered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) on behalf of the Japanese government’s Emergency Recovery Programme.

The R-65 rail will be used by UZ for track restoration and renewal on the country’s 1520mm gauge network. The full consignment is due to arrive in Ukraine by the end of the year.

"At the beginning of the full-scale invasion in Mariupol, the only domestic producer of railway rail was destroyed, so they are currently a critical resource for the company,” says Mr Yevhen Lyashchenko, UZ board chairman. “We need 70 - 100,000 tonnes of rail every year just for repairs. We plan to use the rail received from Japan to repair the main lines from Kyiv to Lviv, Odesa, Uzhhorod and Dnipro.”

UZ intends to repair or replace more than 1195km of track this year: 386km will be completely renewed, while 810km will be repaired.