NETWORK Rail has delivered a convoy of vehicles loaded with equipment to Ukraine to help keep the country’s railway running.
It comes after Ukrainian Railways requested help from the international railway family via the International Union of Railways (UIC).
They needed equipment and spares to help keep their railway running in order to provide vital evacuation routes and humanitarian aid, following the invasion by Russia – which has caused significant damage to railway infrastructure.
Helped by partners in the supply chain, Network Rail heeded the call and donated four vehicles, loaded with spares, and railway tools including generators, drills, jacks, and cutting equipment.
Five Network Rail members of staff drove the four vehicles through six countries – covering 2,000 kilometres in three days. The donation was dropped off in Poland, with the final leg of the journey being managed by Polish Railways.
Allan Spence, Network Rail’s director of regulator liaison, said, “We didn’t hesitate when the request for help came through. We often talk about the railway family here in Britain, but the family has international connections too. Anyone who has watched the news over the last few months has been moved by what they’ve seen and that spurred us into action.
“We took the vehicles loaded with much needed equipment, to a depot near the Polish-Ukrainian border. We had lots of help along the way – like complimentary travel through the channel tunnel, radios loaned by High Motive and help to get back from Polish Railways (PKP). And the loads we took included lots of kit from our contractors.”
Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, added, “It’s inspiring that Network Rail have used their knowledge and expertise to help keep the Ukrainian railways moving by providing vital equipment and aid for their evacuation routes.
“Our fantastic transport network continues to demonstrate huge amounts of support and generosity to those fleeing Putin’s brutal invasion.”