The pace of aging and retirement of the rolling stock used to transport passengers is much higher than the pace of its renewal, and 362 passenger cars will be retired in 2013 and 421 in 2014, the press service of the state railway administration (Ukrzaliznytsia) has said.

The ages of the railcars to be retired range from 29 to 44 years. In total, 3,298 passenger railcars have been written off since Ukraine gained independence.

According to Ukrzaliznytsia, each railcar undergoes an average of 10 repairs at depots and five overhauls before it is retired. One sleeping car carries about 220,000 passengers during its service life. The standard period of operation of passenger cars is 28 years. There are than 119 passenger cars older than 41 years in Ukrzaliznytsia’s fleet.

The situation involving reduction of the rolling stock is approaching critical, says Ukrzaliznytsia. "It is necessary to replenish Ukrzaliznytsia’s operational fleet of cars by at least 500 per year just to continue to maintain the volume of passenger transportation at the level of the 2013/2014 timetable and meet the transport needs of the population," Ukrzaliznytsia said.

Ukrzaliznytsia notes that the state budget for 2014 allocates UAH 5.934 billion for upgrading the passenger rolling stock (purchase of 300 compartment cars, 100 second-class cars, 52 SV cars, 41 passenger cars adapted for transporting people with disabilities, and 7 specialized cars).

The administration notes that the National Action Plan for 2013 provides for purchase of 248 Ukrainian-made passenger cars with state budget funds, but these funds have not yet been allocated from the state budget and the number of cars planned for purchase is much less than the number that will be retired in the coming years.