FIVE staff from British infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR) have delivered spare parts and tools to Ukrainian Railways (UZ), to help keep routes open for moving humanitarian aid and evacuating civilians following the Russian invasion.

In response to call for assistance made by UZ via the International Union of Railways (UIC), NR donated four vehicles which were loaded with spares and tools including generators, drills, jacks and cutting equipment, a substantial proportion provided by NR contractors.

The five NR staff took three days to reach Poland by road, passing through six countries and travelling for 2000km to arrive on May 16. Final delivery across the Ukraine border was managed by Polish Railways (PKP).

“We often talk about the railway family here in Britain, but the family has international connections too,” says Mr Allan Spence, NR director of regulator liaison. “Anyone who has watched the news over the last few months has been moved by what they’ve seen and that spurred us into action.”

“We had lots of help along the way, like complimentary travel through the Channel Tunnel, radios loaned by High Motive and help to get back from PKP,” he says.

“It's inspiring that Network Rail have used their knowledge and expertise to help keep Ukrainian Railways moving by providing vital equipment and aid for their evacuation routes,” says British transport secretary, Mr Grant Shapps. “Our fantastic transport network continues to demonstrate huge amounts of support and generosity to those fleeing Putin’s brutal invasion.”

Earlier this year, UK Rail for Ukraine organised a shipment of humanitarian aid donated by several businesses to assist the displaced and other victims of the war.