Ukraine has completed the first phase of Beskyd railway tunnel construction located in the Carpathian Mountains, in south-west Ukraine. The new 1.8 km twin-track railway tunnel with an excavation cross section of up to 120 m², replaces the existing single track tunnel built in the 1886, which is the only single track section of line on the otherwise twin track electrified corridor between Lviv and the Hungarian border at Chop.
The tunnel has a strategic importance, being part of Pan-European transport corridor V (Italy-Slovenia-Hungary-Slovakia-Ukraine). “The construction of the new tunnel is another project through which Ukraine can realize its transit potential. Today, 60% of traffic to the western border goes through Beskyd. The new tunnel will allow us to create competitive conditions for freight transportation in this direction”, said Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister of Regional Development, Building and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine.
Beskyd railway tunnel is one Ukraine’s largest infrastructure projects, with total construction costs estimated at almost UAH 2.2 billion (EUR 81 million). Works are carried out by Ukrainian Company Interbudmontazh and the Austrian PORR. The tunnel is scheduled for completion in Q4 2017 and for entering into operation in Q2 2018. Its traffic capacity will increase from 47 trains per day to 100 and train speeds will rise from 15-40 km/h to 60-70 km/h.
Beskyd railway tunnel construction is co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and Ukraine’s State Railway Company Ukrzaliznytsya.