Lithuanian Railways sign Memorandum of Intent with Ukrainian Railways

Lithuanian Railways signed the Memorandum with Ukrainian Railways to cooperate on full integration with Europe.

LTG ir Ukrainos geležinkeliai

Credit: LTG

Lithuanian Railways (LTG), which seeks full integration with Europe, signed a Memorandum of Intent with Ukrainian Railways in Munich. In the Memorandum, the companies agreed to cooperate in the implementation of the FREE Rail programme, initiated by LTG, which aims to develop a rail operating model based on EU rail standards and best practices and aligned with the specificities of Broad Gauge (EU+).

Launched in March 2023 and implemented by LTG, the FREE Rail programme will lead to full integration with Europe — in terms of business connectivity, technology and IT — and will open more opportunities for businesses, citizens and the Western rail industry that uses rail services.

“The creation of a unified model for the region’s railways opens up new opportunities both for strengthening the region’s security and for developing rail business links with European countries,” Viacheslav Yeromin, Member of the Management Board of Ukrainian Railways, said. “By harmonising the technical standards of the different railway companies, we will be able to improve cross-border mobility, creating more favourable conditions for economic cooperation between Ukraine and European markets.”

“We have a strong values-based approach, which is why we have consistently strived to fully integrate with Europe — in terms of business relations, infrastructure, and technology,” Egidijus Lazauskas, CEO for LTG, said. “With FREE Rail, we are taking the lead in the region and inviting rail companies from other countries in the region to join the programme. This ongoing programme, which will run until 2030, will enable the region’s full integration with Europe and will address issues ranging from legal issues, business resilience standards to technical compatibility and appropriate IT solutions.”

The diversification of activities and development of services targeting different markets has been a strategic goal of LTG Group companies since 2017. Since then, and especially in the last few years, significant progress has been made, with the establishment of LTG Cargo subsidiary LTG Cargo Polska in 2020 and LTG Cargo Ukraine in 2021. New freight routes have been launched, intermodal services with Western Europe are being developed, and a new passenger route Vilnius–Warsaw–Krakow has been launched.

In the Memorandum, LTG and Ukrainian Railways have agreed to work together to ensure that the new railway operating model is compatible between the broad gauge countries, to encourage the broad gauge countries to join the FREE Rail initiative, and to seek support for the initiative in the European Union Institutions and in the European organisations that represent the railway industry.

Related regions