DB Cargo UK has operated the first train from Britain bound for Ukraine carrying aid for the war-torn country.

The 500m-long train carried 24 containers carrying more than 1500 tonnes of aid including non-perishable food, hygiene and medical products, basic living equipment and other much-needed supplies.

The train ran from Barking, via HS1 and the Channel tunnel to Belgium, Germany and Poland before arriving in Ukraine.

The collection of aid was organised by UK Rail for Ukraine, an initiative set up by volunteers in early February. The volunteers include staff from British infrastructure manager Network Rail, DB Cargo UK, passenger operators London North Eastern Railway and MTR Elizabeth Line and The Veterans Charity. Other operators have provided support or donations.

DB has already begun operating a rail bridge to carry aid from Germany to Ukraine via Poland.

Further UK Rail for Ukraine services are not currently scheduled. However, anyone with large quantities of high value physical items to donate can contact DB international product manager, Mr Tony Gillan, at [email protected]

An in-depth round-up of the rail industry’s response to the invasion and how it has affected the sector is available in the April edition of IRJ. It can also be read here.