The Ministry of Infrastructure intends to initiate the launch of a pilot project for operation of private locomotive traction on railways.

Minister of Infrastructure, Vladimir Omelian announced this during “Infrastructure Day” at the European Business Association, the CFTS correspondent reports.

“There is no desire to launch private traction on the part of Ukrzaliznytsia, but we will be able to launch several pilot projects with the support of the president and the prime minister,” he said.

According to Omelian, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ukrainian Railways public joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) have not yet decided between shunting and trunk locomotives.

“We are still discussing whether shunting or trunk locomotives will be involved. Private locomotives are not very profitable for me as a minister. We have a state-owned company, and businesses will take away its ‘sweet’ destinations. However, we want to show the real transport prices through the pilot project," Omelian said.

In comments to the CFTC, the minister said that he was hoping that such a pilot project would be implemented as early as 2019.

According to him, a competition will be held to determine where the pilot project will be launched.

As reported, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko instructed Ukrzaliznytsia’s head Yevhen Kravtsov in early November to prepare a draft law on launch of private traction within one month.

According to the Ukrainian Logistics Alliance, more than 30% of the major railway operators are currently ready to invest in acquisition of locomotive traction.