CZ/SK verze

Bridging Tracks: Ukraine and Spain Pioneer Gauge-Changing Technology for Seamless EU Exports

Bridging Tracks: Ukraine and Spain Pioneer Gauge-Changing Technology for Seamless EU Exports
photo: Adif / LinkedIn/MoU, Ukrainian Railways and Adif
02 / 04 / 2024

Ukrainian Railways and Spanish railway operator Adif have agreed to develop a pilot project using the technology of an automatic system for changing the width of wheel sets of freight rolling stock for different gauges for western crossings.

Developed by Spanish railways for the transition of 1435-1668 mm gauge, the technology will be further developed to automatically change the width of rolling stock wheelsets between 1435 mm, 1520 mm, and 1668 mm gauges. The relevant memorandum was signed earlier this month to stabilize and improve passenger and freight traffic between Ukraine and the European Union. Moreover, the parties agreed to work on attracting EU funds to implement this project.

According to Oleksandr Kubrakov, Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction of Ukraine, reaching stable exports at the level of 2021 is "one of the important tasks of the infrastructure team" after Russia's full-scale military invasion in February 2022, which destabilized absolutely all areas of Ukraine, including imports and exports.

"We are currently working on all possible technological solutions to create a continuous logistics process for the transportation of goods between Ukraine and the EU," said Yevhen Lyashchenko, Chairman of Ukrzaliznytsia. "With different gauges of 1435 mm and 1668 mm, our Spanish colleagues have been successfully using technological developments that minimize the impact of track differences for a long time, and we are ready to cooperate to expand this technology to our rolling stock. These are systems for automatically changing track gauges for passenger and freight rolling stock. The implementation of such a task is a rather complex technological project that takes time, but it is much faster and cheaper than rebuilding the basic infrastructure to 1435 mm. And this is another step in the integration of Ukrzaliznytsia into the European transport network."