Locomotive renewal Concept 2033: How the Ukrainian Railways will provide the required amount of locomotives for the freight and passengers transportation

Ukrainian Railways (UZ) has developed and approved the Concept (forecast) of work with the UZ locomotive fleet until 2033 (hereinafter – Concept 2033). This is the basic strategic document that allows the company to plan the locomotive maintenance, service and general renewal for the long term perspective. In addition, this is the first of its kind “strategic” document on the locomotive maintenance, because until now the repair services of UZ traction rolling stock has been planned and performed by the principle of one-year schedule only, within the framework of the company’s financial plan.

Frantisek Bures

Historical heritage: Critical wear of the locomotive fleet

In Ukraine, the traction fleet is in critical condition today. Its wear is over 90%. Physical depreciation of electric locomotives is 94.4%, diesel locomotives 98.3%. Out of the total inventory of locomotives, there are only 190 units (or 5.3%) under 25 years old. Let me remind you that the company’s inventory park includes more than 1.6 thousand electric locomotives and almost 2 thousand diesel locomotives.

There are several reasons for this historical wear, but ultimately the main one is the lack of long-term concept and systematic underfunding of the renewal of the UZ locomotive fleet. Frankly speaking, the main tasks now are to preserve and improve what we have today and to modernize the locomotive park onto the European level.

To do this, we must work out a plan for the maximum preservation and optimization of the current fleet, update the park while taking into account the operational needs and obviously gradually introduce new technologies.

Heavy repairs, modernization, and new technologies

And here we come to the key question: why was the Concept 2033 created?

  • To determine the forecast of the long term need for overhaul and modernization of the locomotive fleet (up to 2 thousand locomotives).
  • To determine the forecast of the long term need for the purchase of new locomotives (about 300 locomotives).
  • To comprehensively optimize the locomotive fleet with a gradual decrease in serial production.
  • Go to service maintenance concept of the new locomotives;

Naturally, all calculations of the Concept 2033 were carried out taking into account a number of forecasts: a gradual increase in traffic volumes to the pre-crisis level (+ 2% annually) and railway routes electrification, write-offs due to the expiration of the service life and technical condition of locomotives, etc.

To put it simply, the Concept 2033 for each and any locomotive of a certain series has worked out a clear and specific action plan until 2033.

For example, let’s take the mainline freight diesel locomotives. Today, UZ has a fleet of these locomotives 3 times higher than its actual demand. In addition, the park has a multi-series, namely in the UZ park there are 8 series of diesel locomotives, which complicates the repairs and increases the operating costs for its maintenance.

Until 2033, UZ must reduce its costs by unifying the series of diesel locomotives and optimize the range of spare parts and materials for their repairs. In addition, by 2033, a major overhaul will be carried out with the modernization of individual units of 160 mainline diesel locomotives, another 50 diesel locomotives will undergo certain types of heavy repairs. Thus, a total of up to UAH 7 billion should be allocated to improve the operation of mainline freight diesel locomotives.

By the way, the general forecast of the project implementation cost is up to UAH 90 billion. Historically UZ had presented its profitability, however by locomotives maintenance correction de facto has created critical internal maintenance debt for the present and far future.

As for the new locomotives, by 2033 UZ will have to purchase 315 units of new traction rolling stock, taking into account their localization at the level of 35-55%.

Multiplier effect = supporting the Ukrainian economy and increasing the efficiency of UZ operations

As a result of the implementation of Concept 2033, Ukrzaliznytsia will give the Ukrainian economy a clear impulse for the railway industry development, secure jobs and will improve the productivity of all locomotives (both passenger and freight), optimize the technology of the rail transportation process as a whole and reduce operating costs for the maintenance of the UZ fleet.

In addition, as a result of the locomotive fleet unification, the stock of spare parts and materials for repairs will be unified and reduced in price.

Most importantly, through planned improvement, we will be able to retain our UZ skilled workforce and improve the working conditions for them.

Presentation itself can be found here

Frantisek Bures
JSC Ukrainian Railways Board Member: Chief Technical Officer

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