Ukrainian Railways, Ukrzaliznytsia, has unveiled its first fully accessible suburban train, adapted to passengers with reduced mobility.
“We are gradually making Ukrzaliznytsia inclusive. All people should have equal opportunities when traveling by rail, including suburban services. This train will be an example for further work on the modernisation of suburban rolling stock,” said Ivan Yuryk, the Acting Chairman of the Management Board of Ukrainian Railways.
The project covered the modernisation of the electric train carried out in constant consultation with Valeriy Sushkevych, the commissioner of the National Assembly of Persons with Disabilities of Ukraine (NAPD).
The suburban electric train has upgraded railcars with specific amenities designed for passengers with mobility disabilities, providing large spaces for wheelchairs, ramps, emergency buttons for the train crew, and all the signs are in Braille. In addition, several systems and interior details were replaced in the train to provide comfortable travel. Among the main novelties includes bicycle mounts.
For the fully accessible suburban train Ukrzaliznytsia has invested UAH 70.6 million (EUR 2.18 million) of which UAH 2 million (EUR 62,000) was required to adapt the vehicle to the needs of disabled people.
According to Ivan Yuryk, by the end of 2021 six more trains are expected to be adapted to the needs of people with disabilities or reduced mobility. UAH 300 million (EUR 9.28 million) will be invested for the modernisation of these trains from the company’s financial plan.
The entire modernisation project was implemented at Kyiv Electric Car Repair Plant, the workshop facility owned by the Ukrainian Railways.
In 2020 Ukrzaliznytsia has unveiled that wants to invest for rolling stock modernisation. The plans cover repair works for 600 passenger railcars and 1,500 cars will be overhauled at company’s own facilities.
For 2021, Ukrzaliznytsia has a budget of UAH 4 billion (EUR 123.8 million), of which UAH 3 billion (EUR 92.87 million) will be invested to modernise its passenger train fleet.
In addition, the company has recently announced will acquire 100 new coaches which will enter services by 2022.