Ukraine prepares the opening of Beskyd tunnel

The 1.8 km Beskyd railway tunnel connecting Ukraine with EU’s railway network will be put into operation in May, Ukrinform announced. “On May 25, the trains will start to run on the double-track tunnel,” state-owned railway company Ukrzaliznytsia said, quoted by the agency.
The construction of the tunnel is being performed by Interbudmontazh and is financed by a USD 40 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a parallel loan worth EUR 55 million from the European Investment Bank.
The new double-track tunnel is set to replace the old single-track one, and will remove a major bottleneck in the European transport corridor V that links Ukraine with the European Union, by almost quadrupling capacity from the current 12 trains per day to 46 trains on completion of the tunnel. The new tunnel is expected to handle 60% of transit freight from Ukraine to Central Europe.
The Pan-European Corridor V runs from Venice and Trieste (Italy) via Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Budapest (Hungary) to Lviv (Ukraine).
The single-track tunnel was commissioned 130 years ago when the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the construction of the new tunnel was started more than a decade ago.
The new Beskyd tunnel project started more than a decade ago. The aim is to replace the existing tunnel built in 1886 when the region was under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Besides the icicles, it’s also a bottleneck because only a single track runs through the tunnel, forcing freight to wait at one end while trains pass in the opposite direction.
Beskyd rail tunnel is situated under the Carpathian Mountains in the south-west of the country.

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