Border Crossings: Poland - Ukraine

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Note that there is a one hour time difference between Poland and Ukraine. Users should check whether or not Ukraine is using Daylight Saving Time.

(Chełm -) Dorohusk PKP - Yahodyn UZ (- Kovel')

[D] The cross-border section comprises one 1435 mm gauge track and one 1520 mm gauge track. 1435 mm gauge track extends eastwards to a shipment yard at Kovel, 59 km east of Yahodyn. 1520 mm gauge track extends westwards to an oil installation a few km west of Chełm. Both gauges are used by freight over their full length. The 1435 mm gauge track is electrified as far as Dorohusk.

PKP operates a long standing Warszawa - Kyïv overnight service on the 1435mm gauge tracks to/from Yahodyn, where gauge changing takes place by means of bogie exchange. The train thus changes to/from PKP diesel traction for the short cross-border journey; this is the only PKP operated passenger service east of Chelm.

A daytime pair of Ukrainian DMUs commenced on 12 June 2017 between Kovel and Chelm, coinciding with the end of visa requirements for Ukrainians which from 24 August 2017 were extended within Ukraine to run from/to Zdolbuniw. This was the first passenger service on the 1520 mm gauge cross border track since at least June 2000 and was initially successful and increased to two pairs. Subsequently reduced to one at the December 2018 Timetable change, from 9 June 2019 this pair only operated to Dorohusk with a bus to/from Chelm allegedly due to a Customs dispute with the Polish Authorities concerning fuel duty. Even that service was withdrawn after running on the 18 June 2019. Refugee trains with Ukrainian Railway DMU's served Chelm from 2 March 2022 and a pair of overnights on the Broad gauge allegedly commenced on 4/5 May 2022. Timings are in the PKP Journey planner but not PDFs, and as at December 2022 were Train D23 Kiev 23:52 Kovel 07:21 Chełm 12:35, train D24/IC22002 Chelm 16:00 Kovel 22:49 Kiev 06:13. Traction cross border and within Poland is not yet known.

(Sławków -) Hrubieszów LHS - Izov LHS

[D] This 1520mm gauge line is the "Linia Hutnicza Szerokotorowa" (Broad-Gauge Steel Line) between Sławków near Katowice and Vladimir in Ukraine. A limited long distance International passenger service ended some years ago, so current use is freight and "road-train" services and LHS do not have a passenger train licence, nor any passenger coaches. Nevertheless Ukrainian Railways coaches hauled by LHS locomotives operated into Poland to Olkusz with refugees from 28 February 2022.

Letters of Intent to electrify from Kowel in the Ukraine to Hrubieszów were signed in April 2017. In 2009 cross border staff trains ran to the railway carriage works at Hrubieszów Towarowy from Izov with timings based on shift patterns but it is not recommended to attempt to travel due to Ukraine Border controls. This line was formerly part of PKP and was called "Steel and Sulphur Railway".

Hrebenne PKP - Rava Rus'ka UZ

[D] The PKP-operated 1435mm gauge through service to/from Warszawa which only commenced on 2 June 1996 was withdrawn after 3 June 2005. No freight traffic can operate as the tracks to the interchange sidings at Rava Rus'ka have been lifted and PKP have said they see no need for this line to be re-instated as Rava Rus'ka to Werchrata has capacity for five pairs a day and the average monthly 2022 use so far is one train in one direction.

8km of this line is within Ukraine and only 1435mm, but even so Ukrainian Railways announced in February 2022 there hope to bring this section back into use for a new Warszawa - Lviv service via Hrebenne which is the shortest route by rail. Obstacles to this at present are PKP have no plans for any work on their 2km section nor to upgrade north of Hrebenne, and at present Rava Rus'ka to Lviv is only Broad gauge.

Werchrata PKP - Rava Rus'ka UZ

[D] A Broad gauge freight only crossing, now worked by UZ only to open air transhipment platform to the east of Werchrata station. Press notices advise over 300,000 tons of goods were transhipped in 2020, primarily clay, salt and aggregates matching with 2018 YouTube videos of PKP freights and open topped double-bogied mineral wagons. There are storage sidings on both gauges alongside the PKP station but the 1520 mm lines to the south of Werchrata have been out of use for decades.

(Przemyśl -) Medyka PKP - Mostys'ka 2 UZ (- L'viv)

[E] From Przemyśl Główny station there are separate standard and broad gauge tracks which take totally different routes either side of large transhipment yards between Hurko and Medyka which at maximum are 650m apart. From Medyka PKP across the border is two tracks, of which at least one is interlaced.

PKP and UZ had operated a long standing daily overnight service between Kyiv/L'viv and both Wrocław and Warszawa which has had a complicated cross border history but this was withdrawn at the 11 December 2022 timetable change. There are gauge changing facilities east of Przemyśl Główny [lifting jacks for bogie change with associated locomotive shunts] and Mostys'ka 2 [open air SUW 2000 - for compatible bogied coaches] with either used over time. The overnight service started using the SUW 2000 equipment on 15 December 2003. SUW 2000 use ceased as it was observed out of use in October 2017 but was in use again by April 2018. The Przemyśl Główny arrival/departure sheets in 2019 confirmed only the standard gauge platforms were used by this service meaning either bogie changer could be used. See Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services (Przemyśl Główny –) Hurko – Medyka (– Mostys'ka 2).

UZ had run long distance day and (seasonal) overnight loco hauled services into Przemyśl Główny on the broad gauge which ended on 8 December 2012, but a daytime Kyiv - L'viv - Przemyśl resumed on 23 December 2016 using a modern 1520 mm gauge EMU. This service was doubled on 24 August 2017 when Ukrainian Citizens no longer needed visas to visit the EU, this second service serving a different route between L'viv and Kyiv. An overnight Kyiv - Przemyśl, again using the same EMU's commenced on 20/21 April 2022 and by December 2022 the service was four pairs daily.

UZ works broad gauge freight to yards within Poland. The 1520 mm gauge line splits at Hurko into a branch to a transshipment depot at Krówniki, the passenger line to Przemyśl Glowny and a freight line avoiding Przemyśl to yards at Zurawica. PKP works standard gauge freight trains into Ukraine with the 1435 mm gauge track ending at a transshipment facility 3 km east of Mostys'ka 2 station.

(Przemyśl -) Malhowice PKP - Nyzhankovychi UZ (- Dobromyl' - Khyriv)

[D] PKP PLK completed an upgrade of the tracks to the border at Malhowice in Autumn 2022 to passenger carrying standards, even refurbishing the station platforms, saying "carriers will be able to plan the launch of passenger connections". This follows the Marshall of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship including Przemyśl to the Ukrainian border in its investment plans for 2021-2027 but press articles make it clear there are no plans to re-instate the corridor route via Khyriv.

Apparently there is no freight trans-shipment infrastructure at Nyzhankovychi, as historically this had just been the border station on a through standard gauge corridor route, within Ukraine mainly interlaced dual gauge 1435/1520mm. Until early 1995, PKP operated a 1435mm gauge Warszawa - Zagorz train through Ukraine via this route and the Krościenko - Star'iava border crossing but by July 2004, significant lengths of the 1435mm gauge track within Ukraine had been lifted north of Dobromyl', the track in Poland remaining in situ but out of use. But following the lifting of Visa restrictions on Ukrainians all trees etc were cleared from the Polish section, which in Autumn 2016 triggered some repair work by UZ, and by December 2018 there have apparently been ten cross-border Przemyśl to Nyzhankovychi trains with politicians, tourists, journalists and volunteers on board. So the short term situation is unclear.

(Sanok - Ustrzyki Dolne -) Krościenko PKP - Star'iava UZ (- Khyriv)

[D] Closed since a short resumption of passenger traffic ended on 9 November 2010 but Web photos in November 2022 showed UZ were totally relaying their side of the border with new SG track with dual gauge sleepers so clearly they are expecting cross border traffic to resume. It is known SKPL operated a demonstration special to Khyriv on 25 June 2017 after Ukrainian Visa restrictions were lifted but pre-war, PKP advised in April 2020 they had no plans to reinstate a cross border service, [see the above entry for the latest on the previous "corridor" route to Przemysl].

Work by PKP to allow DMU's to travel east from Ustrzyki Dolne to/from Kroscienko for Ukrainian refugees was undertaken in just a few days with the first train on 3 March 2022. Unfortunately, this derailed between Ustianowa - Olszanica with no injuries so it took until 24 March for the next train to run. Note this and all later trains started from the staff platform at the joint road/rail border control 3.3km further east from Kroscienko station.

In the Ukraine a 1520mm gauge track was interlaced with the 1435mm gauge track between Stariava and Khyriv for an internal passenger service of two trains per day. Prior to the closure PKP had operated 1435mm gauge local passenger services between Sanok (Zagórz before 2004/2005) and Khyriv, then freight trains ran between Sanok and Ustrzyki Dolne until 15 December 2013. Since then a Draisine operation has been allowed travelling east from Ustrzyki Dolne station but even so a Turkol DMU special managed to reach the Ursa Major brewery 1km east of Ustrzyki Dolne in October 2020. From 26 June 2021 the Timetable includes a Summer Tourist service to Ustrzyki Dolne/Mineralna Saturdays only Krakow – Lupkow (runs 26/6 to 25/9) direct to Uherce, reverses, and returns to Zagorz and onwards to Lupkow, thereby doing both sides of the triangle north of Zagorz. The return working on the Sunday does the same route in reverse.

See also