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The EU is Getting Closer: the Budget-2021 Provides Funds to Begin the Restoration of the European Gauge Railway from Uzhhorod to the Border

The State Budget for 2021 allocated funding for the design and start the restoration of the 1,435 mm wide European gauge from Chop station to Uzhhorod.

The implementation of this project will allow creating of a transport hub in Uzhhorod, the regional center of the Zakarpattia region, for the transfer of passengers from different parts of Ukraine, traveling on «wide» gauge (1,520 mm), to European gauge trains (1,435 mm) heading to Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Austria and other European countries.

High-speed train connections between EU cities are common. Travel is easy to plan and organize, thanks to the well-established and coherent infrastructure with appropriate service. For example, the duration of the trip between Budapest and Vienna is about 3 hours.

"The main task of the transport hub in Uzhhorod is to create an opportunity to travel between Ukraine and EU countries quickly, safely and comfortably. It is time for positive changes for passengers in Ukraine as well.

Thanks to this project to restore the railroad track width of European standard, we will be able to go to the baths in Budapest, to the opera in Vienna or other European cities, just as we now go to Lviv or Odesa. And perhaps, even faster - the trip from Uzhhorod to Budapest will take about 4 hours.

At the same time, this will make it possible to open Ukraine for European tourists," Deputy Minister of Finance Oleksandr Kava said.

It is important to note that for the greater convenience of passengers and saving time, at the Uzhhorod station it is planned to equip a customs and border control point, which will not stop trains at the state border.

"This initiative is fully in line with the recently adopted EU transport strategy, under which the railway has been identified as a priority type of transport for the development which will receive direct public investment from the EU member states. Passenger traffic by this type of transport should double in the next 10 years," noted Оlexandr Kava.

It should be noted, that for the first time since independence, the State Budget for 2021 provides for UAH 3.9 billion for the purchase of 100 new passenger wagons and the development of railway infrastructure to improve passenger connection.