Ukraine expands grain export routes to Polish and Lithuanian ports via wider railroad track

Freight car of Ukrzaliznytsia
Freight car of Ukrzaliznytsia

The construction of a wide railroad track from the border with Ukraine to the ports in Gdansk, Poland, and Klaipeda, Lithuania, will facilitate the delivery of Ukrainian grain and give Poland the opportunity to make money on its transit, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mykola Solskyi said in an interview with Polish media, Interfax-Ukraine reported on April 2.

If a wide railroad track is built from the border with Ukraine to Gdansk, Ukrainian companies will guarantee the appropriate scale of transportation on this route for 10 years in the future.

“I will say more: Poland will be able to build plants for processing Ukrainian grain on its coast and export finished products, which, of course, will (help it) earn more,” Solskyi said.

There are many times more railroad cars for grain transportation in Ukraine than in the rest of Europe. Therefore, instead of investing in cars for a narrow gauge of the European standard, it would be more expedient to build a 1520 mm wide track from the Ukrainian border to the Polish coast (the European gauge standard is 1435 mm - ed.).

Read also: Ukraine and Poland sign landmark railway agreement after almost 30 years

There are investors in Ukraine who are ready to finance such an infrastructure project, but the minister did not say who they are.

“The issue to be resolved is the adoption by the Polish parliament of a simplified procedure for such investment,” the official added.

“Such a simplified procedure has already been adopted in Poland, for example, in the case of the construction of an oil port or gas terminal. I know that this proposal has been analyzed, but it is probably better to ask Polish sources about the fate of the project.”

Ukraine announced earlier plans to build sections of the European gauge railroad to increase trade with Europe.

Read also: Ukrainian farmers ask Poland to build wide-gauge railway track to Gdansk port

There was also a project to build a European gauge in parallel with the existing 1520 mm tracks.

State rail transport company Ukrzaliznytsia has already built a unique railroad car that can travel both in Ukraine and on the European gauge.

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