Ukrainian Railways to buy 130 electric locomotives from Alstom

Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) will receive 130 heavy electric locomotives by Alstom as part of a fleet renewal project. The French and Ukrainian governments signed an intergovernmental agreement to finance the hundreds of million purchase. Alstom sees it as an opportunity to expand in the Ukrainian railway market, while Ukrzaliznytsia believes it will “develop the economic potential of Ukraine and strengthen its transit position”.

Ukrzaliznytsia’s fleet renewal project consists of two phases. It wants to acquire at least 50 new electric locomotives by 2025 and 265 by 2033. In total, its objective is to have at least 315 new electric units by 2033. With the latest agreement, it makes a substantial step forward. To serve Ukrzaliznytsia’s objectives, Alstom will have to locate up to 35 per cent of locomotive production and maintenance in Ukraine. Moreover, it will also utilise multiple French sites and its global centre of excellence for locomotives in Belfort.

Ukrainian market potential

Alstom expects to take a strong lead in the French government’s commitment to getting involved in and improving Ukrainian transportation. Specifically, it recognises that Ukraine is a growing market with a strong focus on increasing its freight traffic. Its position as a Eurasian crossroad is critical in this sense.

Furthermore, the infrastructure modernisation and electrification projects that Ukraine undertakes are also crucial. That is why Alstom stated that its willing to participate in these procedures. “Alstom recognises the strong potential of the Ukrainian market, and we would be proud to participate in the expansion of the country’s rail infrastructure. Alstom has all the requirements to carry out such a project that would benefit not only Ukraine but also the company itself”, commented Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom’s President and CEO.

Infrastructure upgrades

Ukraine is indeed in the process of upgrading its rail infrastructure. The most recent development concerns the electrification and modernisation of the Kovel-Izov-Derzhkordon route between Ukraine and Poland. Ukrainian Railways will start construction works on multiple sites during the coming summer. The reconstruction of railway tracks at the Mostyska II border crossing and the modernisation of the standard gauge rail track between Kovel and the Yagodyn border crossing attract the most attention.

The upgrades will take place on a route with a total length of 94 kilometres. The project’s costs are estimated at around 1,4 billion UAH, or approximately 42 million euros. Alongside the upgrades on the Kovel-Izov-Derzhkordon route, Ukrainian Railway’s project will also include the upgrade and centralisation of several rail freight stations and the construction of warehouses and traction substations.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

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