The mayor of the Chelm (Poland) has appealed to the PKP Intercity railway company (Poland) and the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure to facilitate restoration of the railway link between the Chelm and Zdolbuniv (Ukraine).

The CFTS portal reported this, citing the Kurier Kolejowy publication.

In response to the appeal, PKP Intercity and the ministry reminded the mayor that the train that plied the route until recently was operated by the Ukrainian railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia), which unilaterally decided to terminate the operation of the train.

The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure said that this move has led to a deterioration of the transport links between Poland and Ukraine. The ministry added that it was holding talks with the Ukrainian side on resumption of the train service. According to the Polish publication, Poland’s Minister of Infrastructure of Poland Andrzej Adamczyk personally asked Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian to take measures to facilitate restoration of the Chelm–Zdolbuniv railway link.

As reported previously, the Zdolbuniv–Chelm train stopped traveling to Chelm on June 9. Its final destination is now the Polish border station of Dorohusk. The reason for the reduction of the train’s route is that Ukrzaliznytsia and the Polish customs service failed to reach agreement on the issue of payment of fuel tax.

According to Oleksandr Krasnoshtan, the director of Ukrzaliznytsia’s domestic and international passenger transportation department, the Polish authorities began demanding that Ukrzaliznytsia pay fuel tax if the volume of the fuel that is put into the Ukrainian diesel train’s fuel tank exceeded 200 liters. Ukrzaliznytsia refused to pay this additional tax.

As a result, PKP Intercity announced on June 11 that it would launch a bus service on the Polish section of the Chelm–Zdolbuniv train route, i.e. between Dorohusk and Chelm.

As reported earlier, an international railway link between Kovel and Chelm was launched on June 12, 2017, and extended to Zdolbuniv in September 2017.