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Ukrainian Railways

Ukrainian Railways
Locale  Ukraine
Dates of operation 1991–present
Predecessor Southwestern Railways
Track gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in)
Headquarters Kiyv
Website Press here
Government agency
Industry Rail transport, intermodal freight transport
Number of locations
1,648 stations and halts
Products Rail transport, Cargo transport, Services
Revenue 1.76 billion (2005)
Owner Ukraine (100%)
Number of employees
403,000 (2011)
Divisions 6 regional directorates

Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) (Ukrainian: Укрзалізниця) is the State railway network operator in Ukraine, a monopoly that controls vast majority of the railroad transportation in the country[1] with a combined total length of track of over 23,000 km, which makes the Ukrainian railroad network the 14th largest in the world. Ukrzaliznytsia is also the world's 6th largest rail passenger transporter and world's 7th largest freight transporter.


  • Main information 1
  • History 2
    • Pre-history 2.1
    • Independent Ukraine 2.2
  • Administrative structure 3
    • Financial Situation 3.1
    • Ranks 3.2
  • Infrastructure 4
    • Types of stations 4.1
    • Upgrading and expansions 4.2
  • Rolling stock 5
    • Brief statistics 5.1
    • Recent developments 5.2
  • Stations 6
  • Classification of passenger trains (railway lines) 7
  • Gallery 8
  • Ukrzaliznytsia subsidiaries and partners 9
    • Factories 9.1
    • Producing companies 9.2
    • Others 9.3
  • Rail links with adjacent countries 10
  • Education 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Main information

State Administration of Railroad Transportation is subordinated to the Ministry of Infrastructure,[2] administering the railways through the 6 territorial railway companies, which in turn immediately control and provide of all aspects of the railroad transportation and maintenance in a unified way under the common Ukrzaliznytsia brand. The general director of the administration is appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.[3]

The administration employs over 403,000 people through all regions of the country.



The main building of the directorate for Lviv Railways.

Railways in Ukraine were built under the imperial rule of the Austria-Hungary (in the western territories), and later in the Russian Empire-controlled territories, having seen major development and reformation since. For more information, see:

Independent Ukraine

On 24 September 1991, following the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) on separation from the Soviet Union, all railroad administration was temporarily passed to the South-Western Railways. According to the resolution, all assets located within the borders of the former Ukrainian SSR became property of Ukraine. To improve efficiency in such administration it was to create a special centralized administration. On 14 December 1991 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine issued a declaration No. 356 "In creation of the State Administration of Railroad Transportation in Ukraine" which proclaimed Ukrzaliznytsia a government body in administration railroad transportation uniting the six state railroad companies.[5]

As of late 2015 the Ukrainian government is transforming the railways into a public joint-stock company named Ukrainian Railways (Ukrainian: Ukrainska Zaliznytsia).[6]

Administrative structure

Subdivisions of Ukrainian Railways

The railways are split into 6 territorial railway companies: Donets'k, Lviv, Odessa, Southern, South-Western and Near-Dnipro. The subdivision is purely administrative as it doesn't correspond to the particular railway lines or branches. The names of regional railways are purely historic, inherited from the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. For instance, the 'South-Western Railway' actually operates the 'north-central' part of Ukraine's rail network. The 'Southern Railway' actually operates in the east of the country, whilst the Near-Dnipro Railways are the southern-most.

A UZ Intercity+ service operated by a HRCS2 multiple unit awaits departure at Dnipropetrovsk's main station.

The six separate territorial railways each have their own directorates, located in the following cities:

  1. Donetsk RailwayDonetsk
  2. Lviv RailwayLviv
  3. Odessa RailwaysOdessa
  4. Southern RailwayKharkiv
  5. Southwestern RailwayKiev
  6. Near-Dnipro RailwayDnipropetrovsk

The territorial railways are further divided into several territorial administrations usually four or five. Such division helps in assignment of commuter railway lines depending on location.

Financial Situation

In 2008 the Ukrainian State Railways transported around 498.5 million tonnes of domestic freight and 69.8 million tonnes of international freight in transit through Ukrainian territory; freight transport figures were particularly high on transport routes 3, 5 and 9 which saw a combined total of 105 million tonnes carried along their routes in 2008. Further to this, Ukrzaliznytsia served around 518.8 million passengers over the course of the year. The State Railways ran with an annual consolidated budget of a little more than 40 billion ₴ (5 billion USD) in 2008.

By the end of 2005 the railways had produced a profit equivalent to 1.76 billion ₴ (220 million USD) from all their operations including freight, passenger service, associated services and the operation of subsidiaries. The total capital invested in fixed assets of the State Railways is thought to be equivalent to around 22 billion ₴ (4.4 billion USD), however, depreciation of these fixed assets is estimated to be around 57%, or in terms of rolling stock, closer to 66.7%.


Private Junior chief Medium chief Senior chief Higher chief Deputy Director First Deputy Director Director
Shoulder insignia
for every day uniform


Electrification systems in Europe:
  750 V DC
  1.5 kV DC
  3 kV DC
  15 kV AC
  25 kV AC
1) High speed lines in France, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey operate under 25 kV, as high power lines in the former Soviet Union as well.

The full extent of the railway system in Ukraine administrated by Ukrzaliznytsia is currently put at around 22,300 km, of which 9,752 km (44.3%) is fully electrified with the use of the overhead wire. The network is fully interconnected, central-dispatched and consists of 1,648 stations of all sizes spread throughout the country. The largest stations are Nyzhnodniprovsk-Vuzol (in the city of Dnipropetrovsk) and Darnytsia (in the capital Kiev) – both freight.

Types of stations

  • Intermediate
  • Sorting
  • Freight
  • Sectional
  • Passenger

Railway stations also have five classes depending on their general performance. Some stations may be named as railway stop, platform number, passing loop (Ukrainian: роз'їзд) or simply kilometer post.

Upgrading and expansions

The Ukrainian railway network is permanently undergoing large scale reconstruction, mainly in order to reduce operating costs, inherited from the Soviet economy, and to implement higher speeds of passenger services. Particularly, around 4000 track switches have already been upgraded.

Rolling stock

A typical Ukrainian CHS2 locomotive, hauling a long-distance passenger service.

Brief statistics

  • Number of freight cars – 174,939
  • Number of passenger cars – 8,429
  • Number of locomotives – 2,718
  • Number of electric locomotives – 1,796
  • Number of electric multiple units – 1,443
  • Number of diesel multiple units – 186
  • Number of employees – 375,900
  • Number of specially branded passenger trains – 62

Recent developments

In November 2010, UZ agreed to buy 10 high-speed HRCS2 multiple unit interurban trainsets from Hyundai Rotem, with the prospect of a much larger order or joint venture for local production.[7] The first two trains would be delivered in February 2012, two other in April and other two in May, when they will start operating.[8] They will be rated as Inter City+ and will be connecting Kiev with Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lviv, and at a later stage with Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa.[9]

In July 2011, UZ announced plans to buy 433 electric freight locomotives; 292 2EL4s from Transmashholding, and 141 locomotives (including class VL11M/6) from Elmavalmshenebeli.[10]


Classification of passenger trains (railway lines)

Railway lines are classified into commuter, regional, intercity and eurocity. They also distinct one from another if they operate during day or night time. Intercity lines are coded with single, double and triple digits. while commuter lines are coded with quadruple digits.

On 27 April 2011 in accordance with order № 504/2011 rail industry specialists developed a new classification system of passenger trains for Ukrainian Railways.[11]

The development of a new classification system for passenger trains in Ukraine was made necessary by the need to inform customers (passengers) about the level of service quality they could expect to find in various passenger trains. The new system is based on the class of train and carriages.

Given the quality of the service provided UZ asked the following classes of passenger trains:

  • Daytime passenger lines:
    • Euro City (EC) – High-speed (min. 90 km/h) daytime services on international routes which should offer a very high level of service and comfort. First and standard classes.
    • Inter City+ (IC+) – High-speed (min. 90 km/h) daytime services on domestic routes which should offer a very high level of service and comfort. First and standard classes. These services are currently operated by Hyundai Rotem HRCS2 multiple unit trains on routes between Kiev and Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk.
    • Inter City (IC) – Fast (max. 70 km/h – 90 km/h) daytime services on domestic routes which should offer a heightened level of service and comfort. First, standard and economy classes. These services are currently operated by Škoda UZ class 675 trains on routes between Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk.
    • Regional Express (РЕ) – Fast (max. 70 km/h – 90 km/h) daytime services on domestic routes which should offer a standard level of service and comfort. First, standard and economy classes.
    • Regional train (РП) – Standard (max. 70 km/h) daytime services on domestic routes which should offer a standard level of service and comfort. Standard and economy classes.
Interior of a typical 'platskarta' class wagon in a Ukrainian sleeper service.
  • Nighttime passenger trains:
    • Euro Night (EN) – High-speed (min. 90 km/h) nighttime services on international routes which should offer a very high level of service and comfort. 2 berth coupe and 4 berth coupe classes.
    • Night Express (НЕ) Fast (max. 70 km/h – 90 km/h) nighttime services on international and domestic routes which should offer a heightened level of service and comfort. 2 berth coupe, 4 berth coupe and platskarta classes.
    • Night fast (НШ) – Fast (max. 50 km/h – 70 km/h) nighttime services on international and domestic routes which should offer a heightened level of service and comfort. 2 berth coupe, 4 berth coupe and platskarta classes.
    • Night passenger (НП) Standard (max. 50 km/h) nighttime services on international and domestic routes which should offer a heightened level of service and comfort. 4 berth coupe and platskarta classes.

The advantages of the new classification system include: full compliance with the classification of the European Union, compliance with Ukrainian and English names and abbreviations, clarity for customers, linguistic and semantic consistency and clarity for customers in Ukraine and compatibility with existing and future tariff policy. The system is also not far displaced from the previous classification system used for passenger trains on the territory of Ukraine and therefore should not cause major problems when introduced.


Ukrzaliznytsia subsidiaries and partners


  • Darnytsia railcar maintenance shop
  • Popasna railcar maintenance shop
  • Stryi railcar maintenance shop
  • Hnivan factory of special reinforced concrete
  • Korosten factory of reinforced concrete railroad ties
  • Kremechuk factory of reinforced concrete railroad ties
  • Starokostyantyniv factory of reinforced concrete railroad ties

Producing companies

  • State company "Ukrzaliznychpostach"
  • State company "Vinnytsiatransprylad"
  • Ukrainian state center of railroad refrigerated transportation
  • Ukrainian state center in exploitation of specialized rolling stock "Ukrspecrailcar"


  • Central station of communication
  • Donbasshlyakhpostach
  • Main information-calculation center
  • Ukrainian state accounting center of international transportations
  • State company "Ukrainian center of track works mechanization"
  • "Lisky"
  • Ukrainian center of passenger service (UTsOP)
  • "Ukrtransfarmatsia"

Rail links with adjacent countries


The National Railway University in Dnipropetrovsk currently has 10 faculties as well as a technical school, a business school and branches in Odessa and Lviv, 450 professors and 39 separate fields of study related to Railway transport.

See also


  1. ^ Except for intra-company industrial railways, local military railways and municipal Metro systems.
  2. ^ Previously, before December 2010 cabinet reform – to the Ministry of Transportation and Communication.
  3. ^ "КАБІНЕТ МІНІСТРІВ УКРАЇНИ П О С Т А Н О В А від від 29 лютого 1996 р. N 262". Законодавство України. 21 November 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Ukraine profile, BBC News
  5. ^ "КАБІНЕТ МІНІСТРІВ УКРАЇНИ П О С Т А Н О В А від 14 грудня 1991 р. N 356". Законодавство України. 30 July 1993. 
  6. ^ Ukrzaliznytsia officially becomes joint-stock company, UNIAN (21 October 2015)
  7. ^ "UZ to order Korean trainsets".  
  8. ^ "Six high-speed Hyundai trains to come to Ukraine by 10 May". Information сentre “Ukraine-2012“. 7 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "4 Hyundai Rotem trains to serve on the route Kyiv – Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv – Odesa after EURO 2012". Context-Prichernomorie. 7 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ukrainian Railways agrees locomotive orders worth €1·46bn". Railway Gazette. 3 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "Підготовлено проект нової системи класифікаці ї пасажирських поїздів". Укрзалізниці. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Railway Trains in Ukraine – What kinds of trains there are and how to buy tickets
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