The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure could allow locomotives belonging to carriers based in the European Union to travel on European- and broad-gauge tracks to the nearest border stations inside Ukraine, which would help solve the problem of shortage of rolling stock and thus help to speed up transportation.

The Freightliner company’s representative in Ukraine Denys Orlov expressed this opinion, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Rail Insider publication.

"Since Ukraine is an associate member of the EU, our government has decided to allow certified foreign carriers that have contracts with Ukrzaliznytsia to drive their certified diesel locomotives to the nearest stations inside Ukraine, particularly the Kovel station. This will help to solve the problem of traction rolling stock, of which there are very few in Ukraine. In addition to the shortage of locomotives, we have issues with fuel and spare parts for them. All this limits transportation. Meanwhile, admission of European carriers could relieve the burden on the Ukrainian national carrier," said Orlov, who believes that the Ministry of Infrastructure should resolve this issue.

He added that there are risks regarding the insurance of workers traveling to Ukraine during the war. "Foreign insurance companies are reluctant to take this on. Therefore, one option is to involve Ukrainian citizens, who will be insured under Ukrainian laws. There is also the option of these locomotive crews undergoing limited training, for example, at border stations in Poland," the Freightliner representative said.

During the “Intermodal in Poland 2022” international conference that took place in early October, the director of the Levada Cargo freight forwarding company (a subsidiary of the Lemtrans railway operator), Volodymyr Demenko, proposed opening round-the-clock veterinary and phytosanitary control offices at railway stations and staffing them with enough personnel. In addition, according to him, round-the-clock operation of Polish locomotives for the delivery/reception of trains is necessary.