Due to poor track conditions, Ukrzaliznytsia’s ‘high speed’ elite trains run at 100 km an hour, 65% of their rated capacity,

 Alexander Kamyshin, the new acting CEO of the state railroad, tells Interfax-Ukraine. Despite these limitations, Kamyshin plans to expand the service to more regional capitals, starting with Cherkasy next year. He says: Oour task today is to get Intercity service to those regional centers that are not yet covered by high-speed railway communication.” For comparison, UZ’s freight trains average 35 km/hour.

With rivers of grain starting to flow from the fields of Ukraine, Ukrzaliznytsia is not prepared to move the record harvest to the Black Sea ports

, warns Alexander Kamyshin, the new acting CEO of the state railroad. Barely one quarter of the railroad’s 11,400 grain wagons are useable, he says. “As of July 9, only 15% of the planned repairs were completed,” he said, explaining the large number of idled wagons. “The problem with locomotives arose due to the fact that all the necessary running parts for repairs were not purchased on time.”

About 20 ‘abandoned’ freight trains are idling on sidings around the nation,

stopped b a lack of locomotives, RailInsider reports in a lengthy story, largely confirmed by UZ officials. In recent years, the number of working locomotives has dropped by one quarter – from 2,699 in 2015, to 2,025 in 2020. With a $40 million locomotive repair budget only 15% of the needed amount, working locomotives are being cannibalized for parts.

The traction crunch comes at a time of growing demand for rail services.

 Big Construction is moving unprecedented amounts of gravel around the country. Passenger traffic is to grow with the end of August return from vacations.  Two years ago, President Zelenskiy vowed to get private locomotives on the tracks. Since then, the process has been largely sabotaged by UZ rules and obstruction. RailInsider writes: “The experiment with private traction is dragging on, and because of this the prospects of its access in the near future on the track of Ukrzaliznytsia remain rather