The Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) could build a railway line from the Sknyliv station, near Lviv, to the Ukrainian-Polish border in one year, allowing operation of high-speed trains from Lviv to Krakow, Prague, and Vienna.

Ukrzaliznytsia’s Board Chairman Yevhen Kravtsov announced this in a statement on November 28, the Ukrainian News agency reports.

"3.5 hours to Krakow. From Lviv to Europe on high-speed trains. I know that we have been talking about this for the past 10 years, but we will do it in one year," Kravtsov said. “I did not announce it in advance, but I personally made sure today that the project, which has only been on paper until now, can become reality.”

He continued: “We can build a Euro-gauge [railway line] from the state border to the Sknyliv station in one year. The Sknyliv [railway station] is located in Lviv. It is 5.5 kilometers from the station, 3 kilometers from the Lviv international airport, and 1 kilometers from the bus station. The location is wonderful. Ukrainians could get a direct high-speed link between Lviv, Krakow, Prague, and Vienna in a year."

According to Kravtsov, the route to the Sknyliv station was chosen because it would avoid increasing the load on the Lviv station. Asked to clarify, Kravtsov told the CFTS portal that Ukrzaliznytsia planned to build the European-gauge railway to the Medyka station (Poland).

In addition, according to Ukrzaliznytsia, the project will involve laying 69.8 kilometers of tracks with combined 1435-millimeter and 1520-millimeter gauges, construction of 3.1 kilometers of tracks of the 1435 millimeter gauge, expansion of the roadbed by 58.2 kilometers, and comprehensive rehabilitation of 9.5 kilometers of existing combined tracks, reconstruction of 8 stations, reconstruction and modernization of the power supply infrastructure, and construction of the infrastructure for 1435-millimeter gauge tracks at the Sknyliv station.

As reported previously, then-Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian announced last year that it would be possible to begin construction of a railway with the 1435-millimeter track gauge from the Ukrainian-Polish border, specifically from the Rava-Ruska station to the Briukhovychi station. “About EUR 50 million is needed. This project can be implemented next year,” Omelian said in July 2018.

Previously, a version of the project that involved construction of tracks with a combined gauge of 1435/1520 mm on the Lviv-Przemysl railway stretch, which has a total length of 67 kilometers was previously announced. Back in 2008, the Lviv city council estimated the cost of the design work at EUR 6 million. In 2014, the Lviv Railway estimated that more than EUR 460 million would be needed to build the railway itself.