It is necessary to build a separate railway line in order to create a normal high-speed rail link between Kiev and Odessa because there is very high freight and passenger train traffic on the existing network. Yevhen Kravtsov, the director of reform, property, and legal policy at the State Railway Administration (Ukrzaliznytsia), expressed this opinion in an interview with the Interfax Ukraine news agency.
According to him, trains to Odessa currently use bypass routes: for example, the direct route by automobile road has a length of 450 kilometers while the railway route has a length of 700 kilometers. "There is massive cargo traffic - mainly to ports – on these routes. It is practically impossible to guarantee that a passenger train can reach a speed of 160 km/h there," said Kravtsov.
"The optimum thing would be to build a direct branch line to Odessa to allow high-speed traffic, and demand would be enormous because it is a popular destination. However, the amount of investment for that is currently too big for us," he said.
According to Kravtsov, a private company could be invited to build a separate high-speed railway line between Kiev and Odessa. This could be done through a full-fledged public-private partnership, but this requires a separate legal framework.
"For now, it is more a discussion than a project. In any case, it is necessary to resolve the issue of who could provide the funds: the state or a private investor. It would be possible to offer low of tariffs if the funds were provided by the state. On the other hand, an investor is interested in recovering its investment (even if in the long term), which would lead to higher ticket prices," said Kravtsov.