Belarusian track motorcars for electrification, source: Belarusian Railway

Belarus electrifies railways despite pandemic

Belarusian Railway is carrying on with electrification of its network despite the coronavirus pandemic. At the moment, the key project is to install wires on the Zhlobin – Kalinkovichi – Barbarov line. It will facilitate the railway service in the southeastern part of the country. The works on the 141-kilometre route will be finished by the end of 2021.

Currently, the main focus of Belarusian Railway is devoted to the Zhlobin – Svetlogorsk-on-Berezina stretch with a length of 36 kilometres. The railwaymen are installing the contact and support wires. In addition, the construction of a contact point call centre at the Svetlogorsk-on-Berezina station is going on. Belarusian Railway plans to launch the electric trains on this section by the year’s end. Meanwhile, the works on the remaining stretch of the line between Svetlogorsk-on-Berezina and Barbarov is at the beginning: the workers are installing the support structures.

Completed projects

Belarusian Railway has been paying special attention to electrification in the past decade. In June 2016, the Osipovichi – Zhlobin – Gomel line was powered with electricity. It allowed organising the faster and more convenient connection between the capital city of Minsk and Gomel (Homiel), the second-largest city in Belarus.

A year later, in September 2017, Belarusian Railway completed the electrification of the Molodechno – Gudogai – the Lithuanian border line. The latter project was implemented in a partnership with China National Electric Import & Export Corporation (CUEC). Two routes have a total length of 277 kilometres.

Electrified lines

As a result, the share of the electrified lines in Belarus has increased up to 22.5 per cent. They serve over 40 per cent of rail freight traffic and around 50 per cent of rail passenger traffic in the country. With completing the Zhlobin – Kalinkovichi – Barbarov line, the share of the electrified lines in Belarus will increase up to 25 per cent.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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