Ukraine Launches Fast Trains
Kyiv, May 28, 2012. Ukraine continues to implement technological advancements as it approaches the start date of the EURO 2012 football championship on July 8, 2012. While the guests of the sports tournament are starting to arrive, Ukraine completes another highly anticipated project, the launch of fast-train connection between four cities hosting the international event – Kyiv, Donetsk, Lviv, and Kharkiv.
During EURO 2012, six fast trains will run between Kyiv, Donetsk, Lviv, and Kharkiv, and eventually connect other Ukrainian cities. The trains will reach the maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour while en route, cutting travel time to final destination by at least 1/3. Now the passengers will be able to get to EURO 2012 host cities much faster: Kyiv-Donetsk – eight hours instead 12; Kyiv-Kharkiv – four hours instead of six and Kyiv-Lviv – five hours instead previous seven. The ticket price for the new train was reported to stay comparable to regular train fares and is expected to become even lower in the near future.
On December 16, 2010 in the city of Changwon, South Korea, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Borys Kolesnikov, signed a contract on behalf of Ukraine between the South Ukrainian Railroad Network and South Korea’s Hyundai Corporation. According to the agreement the South Ukrainian Railroad Network intended to purchase ten trains, each consisting of nine cars. The terms of the contract stipulated that all Ukraine would receive all trains during the year of 2012, with six of them arriving earlier in the year to be utilized for the EURO 2012 fans transportation. The overall cost of the project amounted to USD 307 million, of which 85 percent, approximately USD 261 million, were to be paid by the South Ukrainian Railroad Network, and the rest with credit through the Bank of Korea Republic within the next ten years. “Dear friends, today is definitely a historical day for the Ukrainian railroad. We are commencing the start of high-speed transportation through Ukraine. You can feel for yourself, the quality and comfort of these new trains,” said Deputy Prime Minister Borys Kolesnikov during the launching ceremony.
Ukraine’s six new trains manufactured by Hyundai are of the most top-of-the-line transportation innovations on the market these days, claims the press service of the Ukrainian railroad network. Each of the trains includes six coaches coupled with three First Class cars holding up to 42-48 passengers, and three Second Class cars holding up to 64-68 passengers, ultimately holding the capacity of 368 passengers total. Each train was tested and deemed qualified under the regulations of the Ukrainian Railroad Network. The tests included movement, softness when breaking, breaking when loaded, breaking when unloaded, and the overall level of noise. Interestingly, for one of the break tests, each train was loaded to its maximum capacity of 116.2 tons with 2,324 sand bags, each weighing approximately 50 kilograms.
Notably, all mechanical control functions will be conducted by Hyundai’s Online Service Center; functions include cabin pressure levels, air conditioning, heating, smoke detectors, and overall interior ventilation system. The train’s computer has been programmed to heat the cabin air during the winter and cool the cabin air during the summers, with the entire electrical heating and air conditioning system installed in the cabin ceilings and floors. The system has been designed to achieve maximum efficiency with minimal energy consumption. During the manufacturing process, Hyundai constructed all trains with collision resistant and fire resistant materials, with all glass products, such as windows and the electrical sliding doors, made with anti-shatter UV protection film. The windows are specifically installed with a special heating system that wicks condensation by means of circulating the cabin air. Even the window curtains are made with UV isolating layers to protect passengers from harmful sunrays.
Passenger safety is of the upmost priority, said the Hyundai Corporation representative. All cars were equipped with passenger seats featuring a new “round design” that omits sharp edges that are normally dangerous to passengers and service associates while breaking. Passenger seats are more spacious and comfortable, implementing cushioned armrests that fold away allowing more room between passengers. Reclining seats, individual ambiance lighting, retractable trays, leg support, electrical sockets, and audio/video adapters in the arm rests are just a handful of top of the line features implemented in each car. A passenger has more foot space with an extra compartment for carry-on luggage and a large overhead storage shelf available for larger luggage. Each car is sound absorbent, which Hyundai achieved by covering the roof with sound absorbent and anti-corrosive materials. Each car will be equipped with an ecologically self-air-vacuuming restroom, and most importantly, no smoking will be allowed anywhere. Lastly, a security video system will be located in each cockpit allowing the conductor to see all boarding passengers at all times during loading and unloading.
“We are celebrating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Korea. This high-speed train will be a new milestone in our Ukrainian-Korean relationship,” concluded Kim Eun-joong Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, who was also present at the ceremony.