Ukrainian Railways 0 km point

UKRAINE: ‘A comprehensive programme of Ukrainisation, which does not just remove Soviet symbols and Russian names, but fundamentally changes Ukrainian railways’ has been announced by Oleksandr Kamyshin, CEO of national railway Ukrzaliznytsia. 

To mark the start of the programme, a new zero point for measuring distances on the network was installed at Kyiv’s main station on February 21. This will replace legacy measurements based on Moskva.

Ukrainian Railways old distance markers

‘We are starting from scratch. Earlier we saw distance markers at the country’s main station that read 856/857 km. Why? Because for about 100 years we had a zero point in Russia. Let’s put an end to this. From now on, the zero point of Ukrainian railways is here in Kyiv’, said Kamyshin.

Legal and technical studies for Ukrainisation of the rail network began in mid-2022, following Russian’s full-scale invasion in February of that year, and the changes are to be implemented in 2023-25.

Station names and Soviet artworks will be changed, and the Russian language will be replaced with English on the tickets.

The Southern and Southwestern railway zones — which are named from a Russian perspective — will be renamed as soon as new names are selected.

‘Why is the railway with its centre in the capital named Southwestern, and the railway with its centre in Kharkiv in the north of Ukraine named Southern? This is a legacy of imperial Russia, and has nothing to do with the Ukrainian present’, said Kamyshin.

‘It’s time to finally get rid of the Soviet and imperial past, which permeated the Ukrainian railway for more than 100 years, and throw everything that binds us and prevents us from developing into the dustbin of history.’