The Ukrainian Railways public joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) has 130 train stations where less than a full railcar is loaded per day, with one-third of them loading less than half a railcar per day. This was uncovered by a study conducted by Ukrzaliznytsia, the company’s Magistral media center reports, citing the company’s Director of Economics and Finance Andrii Riazantsev.

Ukrzaliznytsia analyzed loading/unloading operations at 945 train stations with the aim of formulating a strategy for raising the efficiency of its train stations’ operations.

In the first phase of the study, experts evaluated all the company’s train stations and excluded 803 from the total list. Almost 65% of these are grain stations in relation to which a consolidated decision has already been made jointly with businesses. The others are nodal, switching, and sorting stations.

Ukrzaliznytsia experts calculated the operating efficiency of the remaining 142 stations, which are freight stations.

According to the analysis, 12 stations loaded/unloaded an average of 1.45 railcars per day.

The remaining 130 train stations were divided into three main groups: Group I (45 stations that loaded/unloaded 0.23 railcar per day); Group II (45 stations that loaded/unloaded 0.67 railcar per day); Group III (40 stations that loaded/unloaded an average of 0.87 railcar per day).

"The main approach to solving the problem of optimizing the infrastructure could be to completely halt the handling of freight at the first group of stations. As for the second group, it should be considered whether freight operations there should be suspended during the peak period (from August 15 to December 31, 2018) and resumed if there are applications for loading/unloading of an average of five railcars per day. The stations in the third group should also stop freight operations during the most stressful period of freight transportation and resume operation if there are applications for loading/unloading of an average 10 railcars per day," Riazantsev said. 

According to him, the board of Ukrzaliznytsia will make a final decision after directors, departments, and branches of the company examine the data. This issue will also be discussed with shippers. 

Ukrzaliznytsia and businesses earlier held a number of meetings to discuss the operating efficiency of grain stations. A number of low-activity stations are planned for closure.