The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is ready to provide the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) with a credit for the purchase of 40 diesel locomotives manufactured by the American locomotive manufacturer Wabtec (Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation).

This was discussed at a news briefing on "Financing of the Renewal of the Ukrzaliznytsia Locomotive Fleet" on 10 April 2024, the CFTS portal reports.

"We have been working hard on the project for more than a year. Now we are close to the result. This agreement will have a positive impact on both the Ukrainian and US economies. This agreement opens the door for cooperation between our countries, especially in the private sector. On the other hand, the Export-Import Bank is acting as one of the parties," said U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink.

"EXIM’s board of directors approved the transaction provided for in this agreement on 4 April 2024. It is very important that the locomotives get on the tracks and start working right away," said Reta Jo Lewis, president and chair of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction and Minister of Community Development, Territories, and Infrastructure, said that the terms of the credit would be announced later but added that it would be more than USD 150 million.

"We currently have 29 locomotives (General Electric/Wabtec) in daily use. One of the locomotives was destroyed in Melitopil, but it was still working and providing transportation until the end. Therefore, the additional 40 locomotives we are now talking about are more than doubling the potential. This agreement is the last step to finalize negotiations with the manufacturer and to sign a contract with the manufacturer," said Ukrzaliznytsia’s Board Chairman Yevhen Liaschenko.

In 2018, the US company General Electric Transportation (controlled by Wabtec since 2019) and Ukrzaliznytsia signed a framework agreement on the supply of up to 225 General Electric locomotives of the Evolution Series to Ukraine by 2034. A batch of 30 locomotives was then delivered to Ukraine. The cost of this first batch is estimated at USD 140 million (including VAT).

In 2019, Ukrzaliznytsia stated that these 30 Evolution locomotives accounted for about 20% of all its freight transport operations. It planned to sign a contract for the purchase of an additional 40 such locomotives. At the same time, during the preparation to sign a new contract in 2019, Ukrzaliznytsia was still in negotiations on the maintenance of the first batch of locomotives and the cost of the maintenance services.

In the summer of 2022, Ukrzaliznytsia compiled a list of the rolling stock and equipment it hoped to receive from Ukraine’s foreign partners. The list included 40 locomotives manufactured by Wabtec.