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The Multinational “Support Ukraine Rail Task Force” is Launched

The Multinational “Support Ukraine Rail Task Force” is Launched
photo: Archives/The Multinational “Support Ukraine Rail Task Force” is Launched
26 / 03 / 2022

The formation of the Multinational “Support Ukraine Rail Task Force” was announced by Leading rail sector officials in Europe and the USA to coordinate technical, mechanical, and policy support for Ukrainian freight and passenger rail companies.

One of the beginning goals is to provide a forum for governmental organizations and passenger and freight rail organizations to discuss Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine and the most effective ways to support the Ukrainian rail sector.

The Multinational “Support Ukraine Rail Task Force” would like to assist lawmakers and regulators. The Force thinks there should be more trains picking up refugees from the Ukrainian border, and the other changeover hubs, e.g. Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, and Frankfurt (Oder). Because of the rapid increase in Ukrainian citizens escaping the violence, we face the risk of a refugee disaster. The speed of evacuations must speed up before it is too late. Unfortunately, some countries – such as Germany, Austria, and Poland, have only awarded contracts for evacuation trains which sometimes needed several days to get started. That resulted in the non-use of hundreds of suitable rail coaches.

In order to help move more refugees West, the contracts for evaluation trains should be made available to ALL rail operators who have available rolling stock, and every EU country should offer such
a contract even if the train is only transiting its territory. To maximize the number of people getting rescued, the European rail system needs a consistent and non-discriminatory approach.

The Task Force will discuss these issues with stakeholders in Europe and the United States of America. The Force will try to outreach its influence on other industry leaders.

The Multinational “Support Ukraine Rail Task Force” is consisted of:

Jolene Molitoris – Task Force Chair; Former Administrator of the United States Federal Railroad Administration

Nick Brooks – Task Force Co-Chair; Secretary-General of the Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants in Europe – ALL RAIL

Ray Chambers – Task Force Vice-Chair and Lead-Passenger Rail; - President of the American Association for Innovative Passenger Rail Operations – AIPRO; Task Force Lead Passenger Rail

Robert VanderClute – Task Force Vice-Chair and Lead-Freight; Former Senior VP of the Association of American Railroads - AAR ; President, First Rail International LLC

Jon M. McGrath - Task Force Lead Track Reconstruction; President & CEO, McGrath Rail; former chair of the United States National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association

Charles Hogue – Task Force Lead – Workforce Issues; former National Director Government Affairs; Brotherhood of Maintencance of Way/Teamsters; Vice President Labor Outreach at the American Association for Innovative Passenger Rail Operations - AIPRO