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Ukrainian railways backtrack on scrapping suburban trains

The company hopes local authorities come to senses and pay up.

Ukrainian railways backtrack on scrapping suburban trains
Photo: Photo: Max Trebukhov

National Ukrainian railway company Ukrzaliznytsia decided not to cancel commuter trains as of October 1, in view of their "great social importance", the company's press-service said.

Previously, Ukrzaliznytsia explained the need for the abolition of suburban trains by heavy debts of local authorities for compensation for the transportation of privileged categories of passengers. Over the past eight months, the debt amounted to 271.6m hryvnia, the company said.

In September, the railroad has received a mere several million hryvnia from local administrations of Dnipro, Ternopil, Zaporizhzhia and several other cities and districts. Nevertheless, Ukrzaliznytsya decided not to abolish commuter trains yet in the hope that agreements on compensation with the regional branches of the company would be signed after all.

"However, if the situation with compensation payments does not improve, Ukrzaliznytsia does not rule out the possibility of abolishing some commuter stops or reduce the number of commuter trains, especially in the regions, whose management flatly refuses to cooperate with the carrier," Ukrzaliznytsia said in a statement.

In late August, Ukrzaliznytsia warned that the number of commuter trains may be reduced due to lack of compensation for the transportation of the privileged passengers from local authorities.