Ukrainian Railways testing wide cars on train to Warsaw for higher capacity
MOSCOW. June 1 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Railways begins a trial run of the Kiev-Warsaw train with standard wide passenger cars to obtain Poland's approval of more trips, which will double or triple the number of seats available on this route, the Ukrainian media said, citing the Ukrainian Railways press service.
The test aims to verify the compatibility of standard passenger cars operated by Ukrainian Railways with the upgraded railway infrastructure in Poland. This is the final stage of the project.
Fourteen standard passenger cars of the 1-BM size departed from Kiev on Wednesday, May 31. The cars will swift to European-standard wheelbase for the narrow European track (1,435 millimeters) in Yagodin.
"Our standard cars can easily accomplish the trial run, after which Poland will give us green light. That will double or triple the number of seats available on direct trains between the Ukrainian and Polish capitals," the press service quoted Chairman of the Ukrainian Railways Board Yevgeny Lyashchenko as saying.
Ukrainian Railways is using every available RIC (Regolamento Internazionale Carrozze) passenger car in its fleet and has asked European partners for the delivery of new narrow cars, however, it will take more than two years to order and build them. "This does not stop Ukrainian railway personnel, as the demand from our passengers encourages us to think outside the box. Almost one year ago, Ukrainian Railways initiated the project and started working with Polish railway personnel on its implementation," the press service quoted Ukrainian Railways Board member Alexander Pertsovsky as saying.
Several rounds of negotiations and consultations were held to address compatibility, and technical authorization was received from the Polish regulator UTK (Urząd Transportu Kolejowego). The size of every car was measured at the Polish demand.
The number of seats on the direct Kiev-Warsaw train is limited, as Polish railway authorities allow only trains with narrow RIC cars and three-bed compartments to cross the border.
The press service noted the extremely high demand for the direct Kiev-Warsaw train. "Over 3,000 requests from passengers looking for such tickets are daily registered in the mobile application of Ukrainian Railways alone, and this is ten times higher than the number of available seats," it said.
As reported, Ukrainian Railways has a fleet of 42 RIC cars, two of which bought from the Kryukov Railway Car Manufacturing Plant.
Ukrainian Railways has opened new routes to increase the number of trains to Poland. For instance, the track remains wide on the Kiev-Chelm route. Two daily trains are conveniently connected to Polish trains to Warsaw. Besides, there are night trains between Kiev and Przemysl (two overnight trains in addition to two Intercity+ trains). There is also direct traffic between Kharkov and Chelm, as well as between Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Vinnitsa, Khmelnitsky, Ternopol and Lvov and Przemysl.