The Ministry of Infrastructure has set up a seven-person commission to prepare directives on determination of the railway sections on which a pilot project involving operation of private locomotives will be implemented and approve the participants in the project.

Anton Sabolevskyi, the director of strategic development and investment policy at the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) and a member of the commission, announced this in a column in the Magistral publication, the CFTS portal reports.

According to Sabolevskyi, Ukrzaliznytsia’s position on the issue of allowing private locomotives to operate on public railway lines is that it is not necessary to select destinations separately each time based on applicants’ wishes and that this should be done centrally. “For this, we have already sent the list of the sections of track with the lowest load density, and they account for 15% of the total length of tracks. We propose performing the experiment involving introduction of private traction specifically on these low-density lines,” Sabolevskyi said.

According to Sabolevskyi, the number of requirements for participants in the project should be reduced to 4-5, and the three main requirements should apply to locomotives, train drivers, and traffic safety.

"Traction rolling stock must be technically sound, certified for operation in Ukraine, and its age must be within the standard service life established by the manufacturer. A train driver must have a diploma from one of Ukrzaliznytsia’s training centers (the ‘school of train drivers’) and permission to operate a specific series of locomotives on the relevant railway section. Ukrzaliznytsia’s key requirement is that a safety management system should be implemented at the participating enterprise. This means, first of all, the presence of a driver/instructor to train locomotive brigades and oversee their activities," Sabolevskyi wrote.

As reported earlier, the Cabinet of Ministers published the text of its resolution on implementation of a pilot project for allowing private locomotives to operate on some public railway routes last week. According to the text of the document, the pilot project should be implemented by December 4, 2021.

The Ministry of Infrastructure has been instructed to approve temporary regulations on the procedure for allowing private locomotives to operate on certain public railway routes; determine the list of participants in the pilot project and the areas of implementation of the experiment; submit quarterly reports on the state of implementation of the pilot project to the Cabinet of Ministers.

In addition, the procedure for implementing the pilot project is published on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers. According to the procedure, the pilot project is to be implemented in three stages.

The first stage involves approval by the Ministry of Infrastructure of a temporary provision on the procedure for allowing private locomotives to operate on some public railway routes, compilation of the list of participants in the pilot project, and determination of the sections of railway routes on which private locomotives will be allowed to operate.

The second stage involves launching and implementation of the pilot project and monitoring its implementation.

The third stage involves assessment of the results of the pilot project and publication of the results.

Business entities that are residents of Ukraine have the right to participate in the pilot project.