In the new geopolitical conditions, it makes no sense to extend broad gauge lines to Slovakia, Austria or Poland. This assessment is also shared by Russia’s potential partners in these projects. Instead, the Ukrainian railway network will be gradually transferred to the 1435 mm gauge. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to Rynek Kolejowy.


The declaration on the transition of the railway network across Ukraine from the 1520 to 1435 mm gauge was first made in May last year. This was one of the expressions of the desire to finally break ties with Russia and link their future with Western Europe. However, due to the vastness of the country and the length of the Ukrainian network, the operation itself will take many years. At the beginning, these will be connections between large cities, and then this project will be expanded to the whole of Ukraine.

PLK plans to complete work on the Rail Baltica section in 2023

There was also mention of plans to run more railroad crossings. Three applications have been submitted to the EU Solidarity Lanes program on this issue: one joint with Poland, one with Romania, one with Slovakia and one with Hungary. At the transitional stage, at crossings or within Ukraine the Polish POLSUW track change system can be used.

The broad-gauge line connecting Kosice via Bratislava with Vienna was supposed to have a length of about 400 km. The argument for its construction was the desire to improve freight rail transport between Asia and Europe, especially after the success of the New Silk Road. What is surprising – it was planned as a single-track route. In 2019, it was expected that construction could start in 2025 and be completed no later than 2033. This idea has been discussed for a number of years. The governments of Russia, Slovakia and Austria took an active part in it.

This is another example of the fact that the Russian aggressor, having attacked Ukraine, achieved directly opposite goals.

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