Ukraine’s forward-thinking administration has grabbed headlines recently through deals with companies associated with world-renowned technologist Elon Musk. In addition, they have also announced landmark measures to modernise its 20,000 km of railway infrastructure.
Here are three projects that will be paramount for the development of the rail industry in this Eastern European giant.
Last June, Ukraine's Ministry of Transportation and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced the signature of a commercial agreement with technical certification being provided by the German giant TÜV.
How does Ukraine intend to achieve this? The commercial agreement sets out the construction of the first hyperloop in phases, the first being the development of a 10km track that will be used to create a legal framework for certification. If approved, it will serve as a blueprint or other hyperloop projects around the world.
Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, recently stated “we have set a course to bring Ukraine’s infrastructure into the 21st century (...) Hyperloop is a key component to our goals of creating a smart and sustainable transportation infrastructure.”
Following their futuristic target to develop the world’s newest mode of transport, Ukrainian Railways also recently announced a $1billion deal with US rail titans GE.
The deal will deliver 225 new diesel locomotives and also upgrade 75 older models. The contract also includes a key commitment to produce 40% of the manufacturing within the country providing what Omelyan, called “a significant boost to the development of Ukraine’s transport infrastructure and domestic manufacturing”.
A key foundation to these projects is the partnership put in place with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The EBRD represents a significant source of capital for infra development in Ukraine. Projects being developed under this agreement include the electrification of a 253 km railway line in South Ukraine to improve the efficiency of the railway operations and the capacity for port hinterland traffic.
The second project is a multi-stage programme pursuing the renewal of outdated rolling stock during until 2021.
Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine will join us at Rail Live! on 5-7 March 2019. He will be part of an opening keynote panel discussion on 7th March to discuss the latest developments of Ukraine's modernisation, automation, IoT, AI, blockchain and the reality of innovation at the heart of global railway infrastructure companies.
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