EUROPE: Ukrainian national railway Ukrzaliznytsia has signed a memorandum of intent to co-operate with the FREE Rail programme, which aims to develop an operating model that is based on EU rail standards and best practice while being aligned with the specific needs of 1 520 mm broad gauge networks.
FREE Rail was launched in March by Lithuanian national railway LTG.
‘We have a strong values-based approach, which is why we have consistently strived to fully integrate with Europe — in terms of business relations, infrastructure and technology’, said LTG CEO Egidijus Lazauskas when the memorandum was signed with Ukrzaliznytsia on May 9.
‘With FREE Rail, we are taking the lead and inviting rail companies from other countries in the region to join the programme. This ongoing programme, which will run until 2030, will enable the region’s full integration with Europe and will address issues ranging from legal issues, business resilience standards to technical compatibility and appropriate IT solutions.’
Ukrzaliznytsia management board member Viacheslav Yeromin said ’the creation of a unified model for the region’s railways opens up new opportunities both for strengthening the region’s security and for developing rail business links with European countries.
‘By harmonising the technical standards of the different railway companies, we will be able to improve cross-border mobility, creating more favourable conditions for economic co-operation between Ukraine and European markets.’