Ukraine and Lithuania agree to develop railway link bypassing Belarus and Russia
The development of alternative transport corridors bypassing Russia and Belarus is envisaged (Photo:Укрзалізниця via Facebook)
Ministries of Infrastructure and Transport of Lithuania and Ukraine have agreed to jointly develop new secure railway cargo and passenger logistics via a 1,524 mm (5 ft) gauge rail line, Ukraine's state rail transportation company Ukrzaliznytsia reported on May 9.
The FREE Rail programme aims to develop closer cooperation in railway transportation and increase the capacity and interoperability of the transport infrastructure to meet the ever-growing flows of freight and passenger traffic passing through Lithuania and Ukraine.
A single, fully independent system of railway operations on 1,520 mm tracks will be created in terms of technical standards, softwear, regulations, and certification.
Alternative transport routes from the Baltic Sea ports to Ukraine will be developed, bypassing Russia and Belarus in order to become more independent of Russian and Belarusian transit cargo flows.
Ukraine has one of the largest railroad networks in Europe. Ukrainian Railways directly borders and cooperates with the railways of Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary.
Before Russia's full-scale invasion, the railway connection was also functioning in 13 Ukrainian seaports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov basins.
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