More trains cancelled in Ukraine, Slovakia suspends trains towards the border
More trains are cancelled in Ukraine on Friday as the invasion of Russian troops continues. The railways of neigbouring Slovakia (ZSSK) has halted train transport to Ukraine until further notice, they announced in a statement. They are however looking at the possibility of sending evacuation trains for war refugees, something which also Czech Railways has offered.
On Thursday, when the Russian invasion started, most trains in Ukraine remained running. Only trains to Kharkiv were cancelled. On February 25, more trains are being cancelled, such as several suburban trains of the Kyiv region. Also in the Odessa region, Lviv region, and in the east of the country around Kharkiv trains have also been cancelled.
Several other train connections are announced to stop on an earlier station instead of at their usual end station. Ukrzaliznytsia announced it is doing everything it can to continue running trains in those regions where the situation allows. Passengers are asked to remain calm, have identification documents, be prepared for possible inspections and listen carefully to announcements at stations.
Rolling stock from neighbours
České Dráhy (Czech Railways) offered train cars for evacuation of civilians from Ukraine to the Czech state authorities and Ukrainian authorities, they announced on Twitter on Thursday. České Dráhy says it can dispatch several evacuation trains with a maximum capacity of over 6,000 seats. Trains are also available to evacuate people on the territory of Ukraine, although the trains then first would have to be transported to Ukraine, which it does not neighbour directly.
The suspending of trains from Slovakian Railways towards Ukraine affects four regional express trains and four passenger trains. Slovak Railways has said it is looking at the possibility of assisting with evacuation trains. Roman Koreň, Chairman of the Board of ZSSK: “We activated the ZSSK crisis staff and we are in contact with the Ministry of Transport of the Slovak Republic, regarding further progress and assistance to the neighboring state, for example in potentially securing evacuation trains for war refugees. Our thoughts are with our Ukrainian neighbors and colleagues. We hope that the violence in their country will end quickly and we will be able to return to normal cooperation.”
Russian Railways has meanwhile extended its service, in communication with Moscow. On February 24, Russian Railways organised more than 3,600 additional seats on trains from the cities of the South of Russia. On February 25, they offer about 5,000 more places than in regular service.
Ukraine has wide gauge rail, except for a few km into its borders. So the Czech train would probably travel in Slovakia.