UKRAINIAN Railways (UZ) has confirmed it intends to speed up the modernisation of its suburban train fleet to make -it more accessible for passengers with reduced mobility.

So far three trains have been modernised as part of a Hryvnia 158m ($US 5.87m) project with four more to be completed by the end of 2021.

Furthermore, a comprehensive strategy for the development of inclusive station complexes is currently being developed for passengers with limited mobility both for navigation and logistics in terms of service provision and direct boarding.

Two accessible trains are currently in service on the Fastiv route. The trains have cars equipped for disabled access with ramps installed, crew call buttons and all signage in Braille. The work is undertaken at UZ’s facilities at the Kyiv Electric Car Repair Plant.

New rolling stock unveiled

UZ unveiled the first two cars from a recent order for 100 cars at a rolling stock exhibition at Kyiv Pasazhyrsky station on August 27-29.

Built by Kryukiv Carriage Plant, the trains have been financed by UZ through the country’s state budget. As part of the contract, 10 must be delivered by the end of the year, and another 90 by July 2022.

The first two coaches will be used on the Mariupol - Lviv route that connects the east and west of the country. It’s planned that all 100 cars will be used on long-distance routes.

Each compartment has four sockets with two USB ports. Each car has a toilet with a baby-changing facilities. All compartments and toilets have call-to-aid buttons. The compartments are also fitted with an alarm system, while at night the door is fixed with a lock button which alerts the guard when it is unlocked.

The contract is for 51 compartment coaches, 12 JI coaches, 20 fully accessible coaches and 17 fully accessible coaches with accommodation for the train manager. The new coaches are equipped with an adaptive air-conditioning system, USB sockets and CCTV.

Modernised rolling stock

The Ukrainian government has budgeted Hryvnia 3bn for the renewal of passenger rolling stock.

UZ also plans to have 50 overhauled passenger cars in service. So far seven compartment coaches have been overhauled and are used on the Zaporizhia - Kyiv route. The next batch of nine cars will be launched during September. They feature roof air-conditioners, new double-glazed windows, USB sockets and shelves for recharging phones while each compartment has an individual climate control system.

UZ says it costs Hryvnia 16m to refurbish the cars compared with Hryvnia 30m to buy new vehicles.

The railway also unveiled a modernised reserved car decorated with privacy curtains at Kyiv Pasazhyrsky station on August 27-29. The second-class car has not yet been tested or fully refined, but it’s expected to become an option for an overhaul project in 2022.

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