UKRAINAN Railways (UZ) and German Rail Engineering & Consulting have signed an agreement to provide consulting services for passenger transport.

DB will look at the adjustment of planning and development of passenger rail services, optimisation of purchases and updating rolling stock. DB will also help UZ to separate passenger traffic from freight and ensure the effective management of both sectors.

Consultation is seen as the first step in cooperation, and this will be implemented by the end of 2021. After this, UZ will involve a team of DB managers for direct management of passenger traffic next year.

DB will develop a roadmap for implementing long-distance and suburban passenger transport over the next five years and a model for financing passenger transport, says acting UZ chairman, Mr Alexander Kamyshin. “In the process of reforming the industry, we need to change the long-standing practice when passenger transportation is financed by freight. These are separate areas of business of our company, which must be accounted for and financed separately. Therefore, we expect our consultant to develop an effective financial model for passenger traffic.”

Kamyshin says UZ is confident that DB’s expertise in managing passenger transport will enable the fastest possible results to be achieved.

“This year, for the first time, the state is financing UZ passenger transport,” says Ukraine’s minister of infrastructure, Mr Oleksandr Kubrakov. “With proper funding and based on the experience of the German railway, we are starting a major construction project on UZ, which will affect all infrastructure, rolling stock and services. We strive for German quality in the Ukrainian railway market.”

DB staff will determine the traffic volumes and estimate UZ’s capital investment needs to renew the rolling stock. There will also be an assessment of the prospects for the purchase and production of passenger rolling stock including regional electric trains, diesel trains and night train coaches. There is also the possibility that such rolling stock could be acquired within the framework of international cooperation with a Ukrainian manufacturer.