The future board chairman of the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company, Wojciech Balczun, believes that money for financing construction of a railway line from Lviv to Poland (Krakow or Warsaw) with the track gauge of 1435-mm can be obtained from Western banks and the European Union’s funds. Balczun was speaking in an interview with the CFTS portal.
"There is potential to obtain funds for this project from Western banks and the European Union. I think that a high-speed link between Lviv and Krakow or Warsaw and further to Europe is desirable, but your government and Poland must accept the relevant investment proposals. On my part, the task will consist of preparation of a high-quality investment project and the ability to service it. Of course, money will not fall from the sky. However, there are numerous European projects to which the issue of modernization of Ukraine’s railways to European standards can be attached," Balczun said.
However, according to him, the most important thing for the European Union will be to first ensure that Ukrzaliznytsia has switched to the "European operating standard," i.e. a competitive environment has been created in the railway sector, that the principle of free access to infrastructure applies, and that a new tariff policy has been introduced.
As reported, Ukraine and former Soviet republics mainly use the 1520-mm gauge. This imposes infrastructural constraints on the ability of trains to run freely between the European Union and Ukraine – it is necessary to change the composition of trains or use railcars that are structurally designed to be able to change the widths of locomotive and railcar bogies.
Construction of a railway line between Lviv and Warsaw was discussed at a meeting of the leaderships of Ukrzaliznytsia and the Lviv regional administration a month ago.