In a significant step towards improving transport links between Ukraine and Austria, JSC Ukrzaliznytsia and Rail Cargo Austria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop intermodal rail transport between the two countries. The Memorandum, signed on 14 September 2023, marks a decisive step in fostering closer ties between the railway systems of Ukraine and Austria.
Under the terms of the memorandum, Ukrzaliznytsia will oversee various aspects of the project to develop intermodal transport in Ukraine. This includes traction rolling stock, wide gauge intermodal wagons, terminal services, and customs formalities within the country. The Rail Cargo Group, to which Rail Cargo Austria belongs, will assume the corresponding responsibilities within the European Union.
The project is slated to commence in 2023, with both parties agreeing to conduct preliminary test transportation of semi-trailers on the Kyiv-Budapest route in September.
Vyacheslav Yeryomin, a Board of JSC Ukrzaliznytsia member, commented on the importance of this cooperation: "We continue to develop intermodal services and integrate the Ukrainian railway into the European space. With this memorandum, we are starting work on the implementation of an intermodal transport project between our countries. We are currently evaluating the possibility of establishing a regular railway service of this type between Kyiv and Vienna and are considering a route through Lviv and Budapest to involve as many major cities as possible in the project".
The parties also discussed the possible use of Ukrzaliznytsia's grain wagons in Hungary and Slovakia. They also looked into the specifics of customs clearance for import and export operations in the context of intermodal transport.