The Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) will electrify at least 500 kilometers of railway tracks and begin construction of several sections of railway tracks over the next two years to speed up passenger transportation between regions of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov announced this at the "Big Construction: New Railway" forum, the CFTS portal reports.

“We must start a very large-scale electrification program to ensure high-speed links between all regional centers, which we plan to connect with Intercity trains by 2024… We are currently planning to electrify at least 500 kilometers of our railways by 2024, i.e. in two years," he said.

According to him, this is a matter of national sovereignty for Ukraine because most of the regions in need of track electrification are border regions.

In addition, according to him, new tracks need to be laid in order to restore the sections of railway lines that were previously located in the government’s anti-terrorist operation zone.

The construction of a railway line in the direction of Mariupol, which will cost UAH 3.5 billion, is expected to begin in 2022. A train journey from Kyiv to Mariupol will take 10 hours after its construction. In addition, there are plans to build a railway line in the direction of Chernivtsi to avoid crossing the border with Moldova.

Ukrzaliznytsia’s Board Chairman Oleksandr Kamyshyn added that the company plans to complete the electrification of at least 50 kilometers of tracks on the railways that are currently in operation before the end of this year. "This will be double the volume of everything that has been done in the past eight years," he said.

"This is a change of the approach to infrastructure. A large part of Ukraine’s railways is not electrified. A project for electrification of tracks from Cherkasy to the Taras Shevchenko station was launched in Cherkasy several months ago. There is also a project for electrification of the Zhytomyr – Novohrad-Volynskyi railway stretch. This will enable residents of the country to travel more comfortably and quickly. In addition, four more railway sections have already begun and they will be completed this and next year," Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

In addition, according to him, the plan for the next three years is to repair about 3,000 kilometers of tracks.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure also listed the priority electrification projects for 2022. They are the projects for electrification of the Dolynska – Mykolaiv – Kolosivka, Vorozhba –Sumy, and Zhytomyr – Novohrad-Volynskyi railway lines.

According to the ministry, the electrification of the Kovel – Izov – state border and Cherkasy – Shevchenko Station railway lines are expected to be completed in 2021, and the electrification of the Kyiv – Vasylkiv-2 railway line is expected to be completed in 2022.