OSJD Mission

 

Last year, the global economy faced a serious trial challenge: the spread of the new coronavirus infection and the introduction of unprecedented quarantine restrictions resulted in a significant reduction in both supply and demand for goods and services.

Many industries were forced to change their work patterns and adjust the production plans, which, in its turn, affected unprecedentedly the operation of the railways of the OSJD member countries.

The situation which arose in the world as a result of the pandemic has put the OSJD member countries in front of the need to act more decisively and harmoniously in the conditions of the new reality.

National governments and the top officials of the railway companies have taken unprecedented measures to ensure the smooth operation of the industry, protect personnel from the pandemic and lay the foundation for further development of railway transport.

Passenger traffic has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The running of most international trains and through coaches in the OSJD space was temporarily suspended or canceled, and as a result of the restrictions, the mobility of the population as a whole has sharply decreased. The number of passengers on the domestic routes of the OSJD member countries has also significantly gone down.

The fundamental documents of the OSJD and the corresponding instruments governing international railway freight traffic have proved their importance and reliability in the current crisis, ensuring the continuity and interoperability of freight transport in most of the Eurasian space.

Under these difficult conditions, a special focus in the OSJD activities was placed on the cooperation with international organisations.

The joint statements have become one of the striking examples of interaction and mutual understanding of international organisations during the pandemic: “Joint statement on global supply chain continuity during COVID-19 pandemic” signed by the top officials of the Organisation for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD), the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the “UNESCAP-OSJD joint statement on strengthening international rail transport in the Trans-Asian railway network and beyond in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

OSJD welcomes this form of cooperation and considers it very important to implement the proposals and initiatives that were outlined in these statements. As a good example, the introduction and wider application of the unified CIM/SMGS consignment note as a transit customs declaration can be mentioned, as well as the more active use of paperless technologies in railway transport.

Taking into account the importance of providing contacts at the working, expert and high levels, in 2020 the OSJD Committee organised a non-stop work in the videoconferencing mode, providing multi-format work, translation, interactive graphics and presentations for all participants.

Today OSJD unites 29 countries and their railway companies, 6 railway companies with an observer status, and 39 enterprises, operating in the railway sector, with the status of an OSJD affiliated enterprise.

The railway network of the OSJD member countries amounts to 336 thousand km of railway lines, on which annually more than 5.5 billion passengers and 5.6 billion tons of goods are carried.

In 2020, the railways of the OSJD member countries showed the following main production indices.

In 2020, the Azerbaijani Railways transported 14,631.5 thousand tons of goods, which is 96.1 % as compared to the level of 2019, of which in international traffic - 11,814.2 thousand tons, which is 99.1 %.

The volume of passenger traffic in 2020 amounted to 2124.4 thousand people, which is 55.2 % in relation to the level of 2019, and in international traffic - 29.4 thousand people, which is 13.4 %.

The main reason for the decrease in indices is associated with the passenger train traffic being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, no goods are transported through the territory of Azerbaijan under the application of the CIM/SMGS consignment note. However, the Azerbaijani Party is fully prepared to use the CIM/SMGS consignment note.

To provide services on the route Baku (Azerbaijan) – Tbilisi (Georgia) – Ankara (Turkey), 20 passenger coaches were procured from the Swiss company “Stadler Rail Group”. After the end of the quarantine imposed in connection with the pandemic and opening of the state borders, as well as the completion of the relevant operational tests, a fast-speed train movement will be launched on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ankara route.

In the suburban traffic and on the Baku-Boyuk Kasik section, the railway tracks have been completely reconstructed, the new railway platforms have been built, the new railway tracks on the Laki-Gabala section have been laid, which will connect Baku with the resort town of Gabala. This route will be operated by a fast-speed train manufactured by the Stadler Rail Group, which was scheduled to enter service in 2021.

For the organisation of high-speed and comfortable passenger transportation in domestic traffic, the Azerbaijani Railways CJSC purchased nine 4-unit double-deck electric trains of KISS series from the Swiss company “Stadler Rail Group”.

A fast-speed passenger train was put into operation on the Baku-Ganja-Baku route.

At present, Azerbaijan Railways CJSC has simplified the border crossing procedure with the Russian Federation by organising, in cooperation with the State Border Service and the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the border and customs formalities of international passenger trains en route. Due to the border control procedures being carried in passenger trains en route when running through the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Khachmaz-Yalama section, the idling time at the Yalama-Samur border crossing point in both directions and the travel time of the international trains on this route have been completely reduced. Similarly, by checking the passenger trains enroute on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Agstafa-Boyuk Kasik section, it is planned to simplify the border crossing procedures with Georgia.

The work was continued for the reconstruction, design and installation of power supply, signaling and communication systems on the Baku-Boyuk Kasik railway line. Appropriate measures have been taken to lay-out and reconstruct the power supply of signaling and communication systems on the Bilajari-Yalama railway line, and design and construction work continued on the Sumgait-Yalama section. Meanwhile, 8 freight locomotives were delivered to the country. In 2020, works were underway within the project to build a depot in Ganja for the AC locomotives, as well as a depot in Balajar. In 2018, the construction of the Laki-Gabala railway began, which continued in 2020 and is now nearing the completion stage.

Since the end of 2016, Azerbaijani Railways CJSC has been developing a “Railway Sector Development Programme”, which provides for reforms in the field of corporate, institutional, financial and human resources of the railway system of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The development and implementation of the Corporate Strategy continues, which is based on the strategic roadmap for the development of the national economy, expansion of logistics and trade in the Republic of Azerbaijan and is to improve the safety and efficiency of railway services in accordance with the international standards and to benefit the real sector of the economy.

The draft contracts for subsidizing passenger traffic and railway infrastructure were developed and submitted to the relevant government authorities through an agreement for the provision of services for the period of 2020-2030.

In order to improve the risk management system, the risk management policy and rules were updated, the principles of work in this area were determined and a development plan was prepared.

With the aim of introducing an asset management system, the Azerbaijani Railways CJSC, together with the international experts, continues the process of dividing railways into standard elements according to various criteria related to maintenance and costs (service life - primary or secondary, speed, etc.). Meanwhile, with the participation of international experts, a technical assistance project was launched to develop an operational plan for infrastructure maintenance.

In order to improve the professional level of personnel and the efficiency of the company, a plan has been drawn up based on the requests from the structural divisions of the Azerbaijani Railways, in accordance with which trainings are carried out by the Center for Education and Development, established as part of the Human Resources Management Department.

From the end of 2020, the second stage of the corporate restructuring process began. In order to ensure more efficient operability and safety of the rolling stock and its operation with minimal downtime, within the framework of the second stage of restructuring, it is planned to divide the repair and maintenance works in the wagon and locomotive depot.

In order to improve the safety and efficiency of railway services, create a reliable and stable railway system and increase the market share in the transport sector, work is underway to update the Business Plan of the Azerbaijani Railways CJSC.

In 2020, the volume of international container freight traffic in the Azerbaijani Railways CJSC amounted to 71,182 TEUs.

In 2020, the works were continued towards the creation of new routes. In order to create a new transport route China – Kyrgyzstan – Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Azerbaijan – Europe in December 2019, the first multilateral meeting of the heads of railways of five countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – was held in the capital of Uzbekistan (Tashkent). At the meeting, the Regulations on the Coordination Committee for the development of this corridor were approved and adopted, the conditions for the carriage of goods and issues relating to the development of uniform tariff rates along the route, as well as relevant decisions were discussed.

A memorandum of understanding for the strategic partnership was signed between the ADY Container (ADY Konteyner) LLC and the Baku International Sea Trade Port CJSC. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was the impetus for the development of multimodal container transportation in the region. Within the framework of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, a feeder vessel began to operate, connecting the port of Baku and the port of Turkmenbashi for the transportation of transit goods between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Central Asia. The project has become a reliable transport and logistics center between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Central Asia.

Despite the difficulties associated with the epidemiological situation, an uninterrupted delivery of goods was organised in the shortest time possible. In this direction, the operator of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Consortium delivered a block train from China to Turkey via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway line, which was transshipped at the Baku port.

Thanks to the development of the railway transport system, the Republic of Azerbaijan is becoming a major transit and logistics center. In the process of implementing international and regional transport projects, successful steps are being taken to increase the country's transit potential with the existing railway infrastructure being modernized.

In 2020, the volume of freight traffic on the Byelorussian Railway amounted to 125.0 million tons, including:

- for export - 47.3 million tons;

- for import - 15.8 million tons;

- in domestic traffic - 35.6 million tons;

- in transit - 26.3 million tons.

89.4 million tons were transported in international traffic. According to the results of work in 2020, the volume of containerized goods transported on the Byelorussian Railway amounted to more than 1 million TEUs (an increase by 1.4 times).

In 2020, 550.8 thousand TEUs were transported in containers along the land transit route in the China – EU – China traffic, or 162.0 % by 2019. Of these the distribution by routes was as follows:

- EU – China - 177.8 thousand containers in TEUs, or 142.2 % by 2019;

- China – EU - 373.0 thousand containers in TEUs, or 173.6 % by 2019.

The distribution by routes of the goods carried by the Byelorussian Railway as a result of 2020 operations, was as follows:

- North – South - 6.4 thousand containers in TEUs, or 76.0 % by 2019;

- South – North - 2.7 thousand containers in TEUs, or 78.1 % by 2019.

The Byelorussian Railway has been evaluating and thrashing over the logistics procedures for the products being exported by the country’s enterprises. In 2020, active work was carried out to increase the volumes of the goods being exported from Belarus to China. The transportation of sawn timber, sugar, cellulose, milk powder, meat, etc. has been developing, with the Belarusian enterprises receiving new certificates for the supply of their products.

In cooperation with the UTLC ERA JSC, TransContainer PJSC and other leading players in the container transportation market, the Byelorussian Railway has been developing new routes and joint projects. The volume of transit traffic between China – Europe – China has increased, having amounted to 550.8 thousand containers in TEUs.

In the midst of the pandemic, the first full-size container trains loaded with postal items began to run between China and Europe on a regular basis in April 2020. In 2020, more than 2.7 thousand containers in TEUs were transported along the basic routes of the UTLC ERA JSC.

In 2020, the Byelorussian Railway, in cooperation with transport companies and consignors, organised trial runs of contrailer trains.

In November 2020, a pilot run of the first transit container train on the Japan/Korea-Europe route was provided in cooperation with the RZD Logistics JSC.

In 2020, the Byelorussian Railway introduced the new electronic consignment notes for the transportation of goods in the domestic traffic. The transportation of goods using the electronic SMGS consignment notes was implemented in the bilateral traffic with Latvia and Lithuania with the development of all customs procedures using paperless technologies, as well as for the first time the test transportation of empty wagons, empty containers in bilateral traffic based on the paperless principles was implemented in the traffic with the Republic of Poland, and in transit traffic Poland – Belarus – Russia.

One of the main directions in the development of the Byelorussian Railway in the near future is the transition to electronic consignment notes in export, import and transit traffic. With these objectives in mind, the necessary conditions have already been created and appropriate information systems have been developed.

In 2021, the main focus is planned to be placed on improving the quality of services provided in the area of increasing the speed and duration of goods delivery.

The social and economic processes taking place in 2020 due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation had a negative impact on the mobility of the population. In 2020, 60.0 million passengers were transported, which was 75.3 % against 2019. The city lines were used by 3.3 million people or 80.9 %, regional economy class - by 49.9 million people or 81.3 %, regional and interregional business class – by 6.3 million people or 59.8 %. The volume of passenger traffic in international segment has decreased by 85.7 % or 3.2 million passengers as compared to the same period of the previous year and amounted to 540.2 thousand passengers.

In 2020, the passenger turnover amounted to 3,741.1 million pass-km, or 59.6 % against the same period in 2019, with a target of 100.5 %.

In the face of a drop in traffic volumes, measures were taken to reduce the cost of passenger transportation. In accordance with the demand of passengers, the size of the train movement running in the domestic traffic was optimized. Taking into account the social significance of these traffic the trains running during the periods of minimum passenger flow in the daytime were mainly canceled out of the schedule. The actual volume of passenger train traffic in 2020 was ensured by: 28 pairs of interregional economy class lines, 19 pairs of interregional business class lines, 16 pairs of regional business class lines, 319 pairs of regional economy class lines and 35 pairs of city lines.

Since July 2020, the Russian Railways OJSC has partially resumed the running of transit trains in communication with the Kaliningrad region No. 30/29 Kaliningrad – Moscow and No. 80/79 Kaliningrad – St. Petersburg, since 22 August 2020 train No. 360/359 Kaliningrad – Adler has been put into circulation without the possibility of embarking/disembarking of passengers on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The volume of transit passenger traffic in 2020 amounted to 118 thousand people.

In order to meet the needs of the population for travelling by rail during the periods of increased demand, that is on weekends, holidays and vacations, in addition to the current scheduled passenger trains, 268 trains were put into circulation, of which 68 ran in international traffic.

These trains carried about 67.8 thousand passengers.

In 2020, in order to stimulate the demand it became possible to maintain, on the basis of bilateral agreements, the marketing initiatives, aimed at differentiating the cost of travel depending on the ‘depth of sale’, the use of railway transport when traveling with the ‘to-and-from’ tickets, as well as the category of seats in the night coaches of couchette type (reserved seat coaches), as well as the use of the system for dynamic tariff management and demand stimulation.

The Programme for the Development of Passenger Transportation by Rail until 2020 provides for further increase in train speeds, implementation of infrastructure projects and solutions aimed at reducing the travel time for trains of interregional business class lines between the capital and regional centers, between the regional centers themselves with the trains being on the way for less than 3 hours.

Much attention is paid to the development of railway infrastructure, in particular, electrification, modernization of signaling, interlocking and communications devices, track maintenance equipment. Currently, work is underway to electrify the railway section Zhlobin – Kalinkovichi – Barbarov with a length of 141 km, after which the length of electrified lines is to total 25 %.

In June 2020, the equipment for the overhead catering system was put into operation on the railway section Zhlobin-Podolsky – Svetlogorsk-on-Berezina. An overhead catenary is being installed at the Svetlogorsk-Kalinkovichi section, work is underway to build the traction substations and 110-kV overhead lines for external power supply. In order to strengthen the traction power supply system, design and survey works was carried out to modernize the overhead catering system at the section Zhdanovichi – Molodechno, and to reconstruct the traction power substation at Minsk-Severny.

Works were underway to equip the Gomel railway junction with microprocessor-based interlocking and communications system, microprocessor-based interlocking and communications system of the Kalinkovichi railway junction, modernization of electrical interlocking and automatic block signalling devices on the section Zhlobin – Kalinkovichi – Slovechno. To ensure the safe and uninterrupted movement of trains at prescribed speeds and serviceability of lines, the maintenance of all elements of the railway track is performed on the permanent regular basis. To this end, modern equipment and vehicles of complex mechanization for the repair and track maintenance works are being introduced, with the procedures of track maintenance being improved.

In 2020, on, the track was reconstructed using new materials 167.0 km, the track was reconstructed using old-year materials - 99.7 km, 224.4 km of continuous welded track were laid, 239 sets of turnouts were replaced (of which 204 sets on reinforced concrete beams).

In 2020, the Byelorussian Railway performed the restoring repair of 167.0 km of railway tracks with the use of new materials, the restoring repair of 99.7 km of railway tracks with the application of used materials, laid down the rail strings on 224.4 km of continuous welded track, replaced 239 sets of turnout switches (of which 204 sets were laid with the use of the reinforced concrete cross bars).

All types of repair and maintenance works performed on the railway tracks made it possible to increase the permissible speed of passenger trains at 349.1 km of lines, including up to 140 km/h at 31.5 km of lines, at 11.0 km – up to 120 km/h, at 213,9 km – up to 100 km/h.

In 2020, 430 freight wagons were purchased, 3 DP6-series diesel multiple units of six-section composition manufactures by PESA Bydgoszcz JSC.

In order to eliminate the bottle necks with limited capacity, a number of infrastructure projects are being implemented to increase the transit capability on the border with the Republic of Poland.

The implementation of the projects “Arrangement of a container yard in the transshipment park of the Brest-Northern station”, “Reconstruction of the Western park Brest-Central", “Reconstruction of the track development at the Bruzgi station” will increase the processing capacity of the Brest-Northern station by 1.5 times, the Bruzgi station – by 2 times and the storage volume for containers – by 2 times.

The container terminal of the Brest-Northern station is an example of the Byelorussian Railway’s integrated development and the harmonization of the technological process with neighboring railway administrations. After the completion of its modernization in August 2019, the new infrastructure of the terminal complex makes it possible to process about 1 million containers in TEU per year, providing the business participants with services for storage, container consolidation and timely terminal handling.

In 2020, works were carried out to reconstruct the odd throat of the Engineering Park of the Brest-Northern station with an extension of the 9th track.

As part of the development of the II International Transport Corridor, works were underway to build overpasses, and it is also planned to build the third electrified main track. This will ensure the running of an increasing flow of container traffic, as well as ensure the transportation of passengers between Minsk and the satellite cities, as well as with the Minsk National Airport.

In order to improve the process of transferring and processing the information, eliminating the time spent for manual processing and printing of information, filling in the paper documentation and delivering it to customs, improving the quality of transmitted information, ensuring their reliability, an “Agreement on information interaction” was signed on 16 October 2018 between the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Belarus and the state enterprise “Byelorussian Railway” for the implementation of transportation of goods by rail.

In July 2019, the Byelorussian Railway and the State Customs Committee signed the Procedure for organising information interaction between the customs authorities of the Republic of Belarus and the Byelorussian Railway when performing customs operations in relation to goods transported by rail across the customs border of the EAEU in the Republic of Belarus using the electronic SMGS consignment notes, as well as submission of information in electronic form in order to notify the customs authorities about the arrival (departure) of goods at/from the customs territory of the EAEU. The procedure was developed in order to stimulate the paperless technologies for the carriage of goods by rail, organise the use of SMGS consignment notes in the form of electronic documents when transporting goods across the customs border of the EAEU in the Republic of Belarus, as well as for the purpose of submitting information in electronic form to notify customs authorities of the arrival (departure) of goods at/from the customs territory of the EAEU.

The Byelorussian Railway is open for the carriage of goods using the unified CIM/SMGS consignment note in all directions, and the works are continued on the use of this consignment note at the border crossing points in the West-East direction and vice versa.

The state association “Byelorussian Railway” incorporates 28 legal entities, including 6 subsidiaries of the railway branches. The state association “Byelorussian Railway” has 8 separate structural subdivisions (branches).

The interests of the Byelorussian Railway in the Republic of Poland and the Russian Federation are represented by two Representative Offices of the Byelorussian Railway.

In the Republic of Belarus, the programme regulatory acts for the reform of railway transport were not adopted due to the fact that no change in the form of ownership or other cardinal transformations in the field of railway transport is planned. At the same time, the Byelorussian Railway is constantly optimizing the structure of the association, removing non-core activities from it.

In 2020, the Hungarian Railways (MAV-Start Co. and GySEV Co.) transported 100.4 million passengers, including:

- MAV-Start Co. – 96.2 million passengers (682.5 thousand - in international traffic, –78.9 % against 2019 and 95.5 million - in domestic traffic, –30.6 % against 2019);

- GySEV Co. – 4.2 million passengers (58 thousand - in international traffic, –49.10 % against 2019 and 4.2 million - in domestic traffic, –28.6 % against 2019).

In order to meet the requirement for maintaining the required safe distance between passengers, due to the decrease in the number of passengers, the trains were not cut, with only some of them canceled only to a minimum extent.

The freight turnover amounted to 23 billion t-km, including: in international traffic - 16.4 billion t-km (+9.3 % against 2019) and in domestic traffic - 6.7 billion t-km (–19.9 % against 2019).

The overall decline, measured in tonne-kilometers, is only 1-2 %. However, given that the share of international freight traffic exceeds the share of domestic traffic by almost 2.5 times, the reduction in the number of trains and in kilometers is more significant.

As part of the infrastructure modernization programme, the reconstruction of the Debrecen – Balmazujvaros section of line No. 108 has begun. The modernization of the line is part of the development of the North-West Economic Zone of the city of Debrecen. The project includes an increase in the permissible travel speed to 100 km/h, the construction of a new station of Macs-Industrial Park for servicing freight traffic, as well as the electrification of this section and the renovation of passenger service facilities.

A central traffic control system was put into operation on the sections of lines 120a (Rakos – Ujszasz), 40a (Kelenfold – Szazhalombatta) and 40 (Pusztaszabolcs – Dombovar – Pecs).

The first phase of building a GSM-R radio system (Global System for Mobile Communications - for Railways) was completed on 1 August 2020. Thanks to the commissioning, the technology became available on 935-kilometer network of MAV Co. and GySEV Co.. With the use of a uniform communication platform, Hungary contributes to the provision of safer, faster and more uninterrupted railway connections between the countries of the region, as well as to the interoperability at border crossing points.

In the segment of container traffic, there was an increase in the number of container trains between China and Europe. The container terminal Eperjeske-Atrako near the border with Ukraine is still ready to receive and transship 20 and 40-foot containers.

In connection with the new system of state support for the wagon-load traffic segment, the MAV Co. began to develop the information systems that ensure the calculation of fees for the infrastructure access, as well as the formation of requirements for the contract system.

In 2020, a massive project began to reconstruct the structure of the station building of the 143-year-old Budapest-Nyugati railway station. Measures to rehabilitate the main train station included a major renovation of the roof and adjacent glass structures of the central hall, which is used by about 18 million people annually, as well as an overhaul repair of the roof structure of the ticket office hall, a fast food restaurant and six small towers of the facade, with a total area of about 8,200 square meters.

In order to commission a new electricity metering system, as part of the MAV innovative development programme, a project was created in 2020 based on the Business Intelligence data assessing system, with the help of which a new data visualization technique will be used to display sales data.

As part of the development of a network of fast-speed and high-speed passenger traffic, the reconstruction of the section Puspokladany – Debrecen of the Budapest-Zahony main line No. 100 was continued, which is located in the OSJD railway transport corridor No. 5. The maximum permissible speed will increase up to 160 km/h, as well as the maximum permissible axle load will amount to 22.5 kN. Automatic interlocking devices and a new overhead catering network were installed on this section. In addition to track repairs, passenger service facilities have been upgraded in accordance with the EU standard, including high platforms.

In 2020, the MAV-Start Co., a passenger branch of the company, continued the modernization of existing passenger coaches and the purchase of new rolling stock. In the reporting year, 6 passenger coaches of the first and second class of the CAF series were modernized, which are in operation on the international lines and on the Hungarian long-distance routes. Thus, together with the previous years, a total of 41 coaches were renewed. The modernization included the bodywork repairs, renovation of the interior and almost all components of the coaches, electrical system and air conditioning, as well as painting the coaches in accordance with the new design.

As a result of domestic development and serial production in 2020, another 30 InterCity+ passenger coaches were put into operation to provide services on the international lines and on the Hungarian long-distance routes.

As part of the current framework contract signed in 2017 with the Stadler Bussnang AG manufacturer for the supply of double-deck passenger electric trains, by the end of 2020, 17 KISS trains with a capacity of 600 seats each were produced. Following the successful test runs last year, 9 trains have been licensed to run commercially with passengers and have begun operating on two of the country’s busiest commuter lines.

2020 marked the beginning of the reconstruction of the existing fleet of Stadler FLIRT electric trains, acquired 10-14 years ago. Through the modernization, 60 EMUs of the FLIRT electric trains are to be brought to the same technical standard as the trains of the same type, painted in blue and white, with more modern and innovative technical solutions in certain components.

On 30 December 2020, Stadler Rail Valencia S.A.U launched and dispatched to Hungary a prototype of the first hybrid tram-train, which will run between the Hungarian cities of Szeged and Hodmezovasarhely from autumn 2021, in order to facilitate the commuter public transport. In 2017, the passenger operator MAV-Start Co. signed a contract with the supplier Stadler Rail Valencia S.A.U for the production of 8 new combined tram-train EMUs with the option to purchase 4 additional EMUs.

In 2020, work was carried out to ensure the smooth operation of railway transport in the context of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic.

The negative consequences of the coronavirus epidemic were observed primarily in the segment of international passenger and freight traffic. As compared to the previous year, the amount in gross tonne-kilometers decreased less than expected.

The number of railway companies using infrastructure services in 2020 increased by more than 10 %, mainly due to foreign companies. Despite the current situation caused by the pandemic, the MAV Group has ensured continuous communication with partners, as well as the possibility of uninterrupted billing.

In connection with the unfavourable situation due to the spread of the new COVID-19coronavirus infection, the passenger traffic fell sharply in 2020, which led to the cancellation of trains, reduction in routes and in the number of trains in accordance with the decisions taken jointly by the partner railways. During the pandemic, the passenger company MAV-Start Co. has been continuously analyzing the situation caused by the spread of coronavirus infection and, when organising the movement of trains and forming trains, acts in accordance with the current instructions. The railway administration regularly informs passengers through all media channels about the current situation and changes in the train schedule.

On the basis of the agreement between MAV-Start Co. and BC, starting from 13 December 2020 the train No. EC130/EC131 “Báthory EuroCity” was admitted to the extended route to the station of “Brest-Centtral”. Ufortunately, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the train still runs from Budapest only to the Terespol station (Poland).

Cycling (with two-hour intervals in the schedule) of passenger trains between Budapest and Kosice (Slovakia) has been established for the daily running of 7 pairs of Hernád InterCity trains. Currently, due to the coronavirus epidemic, only 2 pairs of IC trains run between the two cities.

The route of the train “Kőrös IC” (new name “Muntenia InterCity”), running between the cities of Budapest and Timisoara (Romania), was extended to Bucharest starting from 13 December 2020. In addition to the coaches with seating seats, these trains are also provided with a sleeping coach each.

If the situation permits, MAV Group, in cooperation with its partner railway companies, will immediately take all the necessary measures to quickly restore normal train traffic in both domestic and international segment.

Ensuring the smooth functioning of public transport is of paramount importance to daily life and the stable functioning of the economy. The MAV Group ensures the constant and safe transportation of passengers and goods, as well as the uninterrupted operation of railway transport, even during the pandemic. The MAV Group is largely responsible for the continuous operation of the transport system throughout the country, therefore, in addition to the measures aimed at ensuring the passengers’ safety, special attention is also paid to protecting the health and preventing the spread of disease among the company’s employees.

Precaution measures for passenger:

- Wearing masks. In accordance with the order of the government and for the purpose of preventing the spread of the new coronavirus infection, a compulsory face mask wearing has been introduced for both passengers and railway personnel at train stations, stations and onboard the trains;

- Information for passengers. The MAV Group regularly provides passengers with detailed information on the measures taken to reduce the spread of the disease through various communication channels: website, Facebook, smartphone application, as well as media. A subpage “Coronavirus” has been created on the MAV Group’s website, which contains a large amount of information about current changes and restrictions in the operation of the company's railway transport related to the pandemic. Informational videos in Hungarian and English are regularly shown on information boards in stations and on on-board train monitors, raising awareness of the importance of good hand hygiene and hygiene. At ticket offices and customer service centers, visual information warnings about observing social distance (markings, posters, banners, floor stickers indicating the minimum distance) are posted and passengers are audio-informed about the disease preventive measures (measures taken to reduce the spread of the disease);

- Contactless payments for ticket. Since the announcement of the emergency in March 2020, the MAV Group has been asking passengers to give priority to using the MAV mobile application to purchase tickets, thereby ensuring contactless payments;

- Disinfection of rolling stock, stations and premises. To prevent the spread of coronavirus infection at infrastructure facilities of the MAV Group and on 1,200 units of rolling stock, the “MAV-Start Co. regularly carries out antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal disinfection, which destroys all pathogens. In trains, all contact surfaces, external and internal handles and handrails in coaches, as well as tables are disinfected. The train stations and production facilities are also treated with disinfectants at least once a week. All railway employees in contact with passengers (conductors, cashiers, attendants, etc.) are provided with antiseptics. The busiest stations have non-contact disinfectant dispensers for passengers. The disinfection of ticket vending machines is carried out on a regular basis.

Precaution measures for railway personnel:

- Wearing masks. In accordance with the order of the government and for the purpose of individual protection, a compulsory face mask wearing has been introduced in office and business premises. The company provides masks and gloves to employees free of charge;

- Internal communications. The MAV Group regularly provides its employees with the information on the current situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, using various internal channels: electronic newsletter, intranet, video messaging, corporate journal, SMS messages. The information signs (indicators, stickers, posters) are placed in the office buildings in order to ensure that personnel comply with safe distancing measures in common areas (corridors, elevators, dining room, meeting room);

- Disinfection of premises. In order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus infection, disinfections are carried out on a weekly basis in the offices of all entities. The employees have been provided with contactless hand sanitizer dispensers;

- Remote work. Already during the first wave of the pandemic as far back as March 2020, the MAV Group Directorate took a decision to organise the remote work for some personnel not involved directly in the carriage operations in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection and ensure uninterrupted transportation process. The total number of them amounted to 6000 people from the Directorate central office and structural units. To this end, the company provided employees with the necessary hard- and software: laptops, VPN connection, Skype software, remote access to the official mailbox.

Due to the current epidemiological situation associated with the coronavirus infection (COVID-19), the use of various methods of information and communication technologies has become even more widespread, both in cooperation with international railway organisations and in the daily work of the MAV Group employees. In 2020, these methods were complemented with video conferencing solutions, which enabled executive and expert meetings to be held via the video conferencing mode to reduce contacts and limit the risk of the coronavirus infection spread among employees. The MAV Group actively supports the development and provision of technical specifications for various online methods remotely among as large number of employees as possible. Thus, the method of interaction in an online virtual format among employees has become generally accepted.

In 2020, the Railway of Kazakhstan transported 11,224.5 thousand passengers and 287,375.3 thousand tons of goods. The passenger turnover amounted to 8,577.9 million pass-km, while the tariff net freight turnover amounted to 231,783.2 million t-km.

In 2020, a major overhaul repair was carried out on 416.77 km of the track, as well as the modernization of the overhead catering system of the line Karaganda – Nur-Sultan – Esil – Tobol.

For the 12 months of 2020, the rolling stock in the following numbers has been procured: passenger coaches - 68 units, locomotives - 20 vehicles, freight wagons - 209 units. Overhaul repairs were completed on: locomotives - 45 vehicles, freight wagons - 867 units, passenger coaches - 20 units.

As part of the development programme for fast-speed and high-speed passenger traffic network, as of 2020, 2 high-speed trains ran on routes No. 701/702 Almaty-2 – Nur-Sultan (Nurly Zhol) and No. 712/711 Nur-Sultan (Nurly Zhol) - Shymkent.

In order to facilitate and speed up the border crossing procedures for the transport of goods at the interstate border crossing points, a mechanism has been created when all types of control (border, customs, veterinary, phytosanitary, radiation, etc.) are carried out simultaneously in one place.

Interaction with customs authorities is provided on the basis of a joint order of the Ministry for Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the approval of the Rules for interaction of state revenue bodies with the national railway company, the national carrier in the field of railway transport of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, which regulates the procedure for the transportation of goods subject to customs control.

In order to simplify the customs administration, the carrier preliminarily informs the customs authorities about the goods imported by rail into the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union, along the external borders of the Republic of Kazakhstan (interstate border crossing points Dostyk, Altynkol, Sary-Agash, Aktau-Port, Kuryk-Port, Bolashak, Karakalpakstan) in the amount of the transportation document; as well as on behalf of the concerned parties (forwarders, consignees), goods are declared in accordance with the customs procedure of customs transit.

The integration of smart systems of the national railway carrier and customs authorities has been implemented when submitting preliminary information, using preliminary information as an electronic copy of a transit declaration, as well as declaring imported foreign vehicles for international traffic (wagons). Work is underway towards further integration in terms of obtaining customs marks during the registration of the customs procedure for customs transit and export procedures. Prior to the implementation of electronic marks, an agreement was reached with the customs authorities, and starting from 1 June 2020, the procedure for completing the customs transit is carried out without submitting customs marks by transferring information to the customs authorities via the corporate e-mail.

In the field of railway traffic, the markets of services for operation, repair and maintenance of wagons, forwarding services, locomotive traction services, and passenger transportation have been actively developed.

Currently, the work is underway in the railway industry towards creating conditions for the functioning of multiple freight carriers by changing the regulatory, technological and legal framework.

In connection with the emergency situation in the world with regard to the spread of coronavirus infection and in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic and in pursuance of the Resolution of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor “On further strengthening measures to prevent the coronavirus infection”, the “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy NC” JSC has been taking measures to prevent the coronavirus diseases in passenger trains in strict accordance with the requirements of the authorized government body in the field of health (the Committee for Quality Control and Safety of Goods and Services of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan).

The Instruction, regulating the procedure for train crews in case a passenger or a crew member is suspected to suffer of a coronavirus disease, was developed and agreed with the Department of Quality and Safety of Goods and Services of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and sent to the regional branches providing passenger services.

At the same time, a procedural algorithm was developed for the train crews to ensure sanitary/quarantine conditions for the travel of passengers on passenger trains.

In order to inform passengers, the passenger coaches are provided with reminders about symptoms, signs of illness and methods of protection against coronavirus, developed by the Committee for Quality Control and Safety of Goods and Services of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Center for Public Health. Multimedia portals of branded and commercial trains broadcast videos about the symptoms and prevention methods to protect against coronavirus.

 

The passenger traffic on China Railways has steadily recovered in 2020, while freight traffic has maintained a positive growth trend. In 2020, 2.203 billion passengers were transported, which is 39.8 % below the level of 2019 (at the same time, the rate of decline in the fourth quarter fell to 18.6 %); the passenger turnover amounted to 826.619 billion pass-km, which is 43.8 % below the level of 2019. The total volume of freight traffic amounted to 4.552 billion tons, which is 3.2 % higher than the level of 2019; the freight turnover amounted to 3,051.446 billion t-km, which is 1.0 % higher than the level of 2019.

The volume of container traffic in international segment on the Railways of China amounted to 1.727 million TEUs, which is 37 % more as compared to the level of 2019. In 2020, 12.4 thousand container trains were dispatched in the China-Europe traffic, which is 50 % higher than in 2019. As of the end of 2020, container trains were launched between 98 cities in China and 21 European countries in the direction of China – Europe. The volume of export traffic of containers using the CIM/SMGS consignment note in 2020 amounted to 11,228 TEUs. The volume of postal items dispatched in the China-Europe traffic amounted to more than 2,800 TEUs, which is 53 times more as compared to the level of 2019.

The number of traction rolling stock in the country in 2020 amounted to 21.8 thousand vehicles, of which 8 thousand were represented by diesel locomotives and 13.8 thousand – by electric locomotives. The number of passenger coaches was 76 thousand, including 3,918 electric trains (31,340 sections of multiple-unit rolling stock), and the number of freight wagons was 912 thousand.

In 2020, the fixed capital investment of the national railway amounted to 781.9 billion yuan. The safety of railway transport remains stable, with no particularly serious and major traffic accidents on the national railways in 2020. The China Railways is committed to improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions, resulting in 15.4883 million tonnes of coal used to generate electricity, a decline of 5.3 % as compared to the level of 2019.

The Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) transported 94,782 million passengers in 2020, 38,091 million passengers less (or 40 %) as compared to 2019 level. The volume of freight traffic amounted to 26.277 million tons of goods, which is 2.38 million tons (or 9.1 %) below the level of the previous year.

Due to the restrictions on movement and contacts between people caused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, KORAIL, which plays an important role in ensuring reliable transport links in the country, has also suffered significant losses: by the end of 2020, its traffic volumes had fallen by half. Since March 2020, KORAIL has taken measures to counter the emergency situations, as well as a whole range of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus infection.

KORAIL has a serious approach to the safety issues and does everything possible to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection. All trains, both before and after each trip, are disinfected (KTX trains - on average 4.5 times a day). Particular attention is paid to disinfection of premises in the station buildings and other infrastructure facilities, where passengers have contacts (on average, 2 times a day). To ensure safety distancing, the company sold to passengers only seats by the windows.

Since March 2020, KTX high-speed trains (on average 45 trains out of 239 per day) have allocated 1-2 coaches for those entering the country without symptoms of illness. In addition, healthcare personnel involved in the fight against coronavirus pandemic have been provided with a possibility of traveling free of charge on all types of KORAIL trains.

For the first time in its history, the company made available the pre-sale of tickets for the holiday period on the Korean harvest festival Chuseok (30.09.20 – 02.10.20) exclusively online, and taking into account the observance of the distance between passengers, tickets were sold only for the seats at the windows. In addition to this, the company opened a separate pre-sale of tickets for a certain period of time for those people who do not know how to use the Internet. As a result, the volume of tickets sold for the weekend during the harvest festival amounted to 55.5 % as compared to the same period of the previous year.

In 2020, the new high-speed train KTX-Eum was launched. It is Korea's first high-speed train with distributed power traction (top speed 260 km/h). The Government of the Republic of Korea, within the framework of the “Net-Zero 2050” policy, plans to gradually replace all diesel locomotives with environmentally friendly electric distributed power traction units (EMU), such as the KTX-Eum.

Since March 2020, KORAIL has extended the KTX route from Seoul to Donghae Station, which is located in the south-eastern part of Gangwon Province, on the coast of the East Sea. This contributes to an increase in the level of accessibility to the attractions of the southern coast of the country, as well as the restoration of economic activities in the region.

In 2020, the Latvian Railway (LDz) transported 24,133 thousand tons of goods (58.1 % against 2019), including 22,047 thousand tons in international traffic (55.4 % against 2019). The volume of passenger traffic amounted to 12,862 thousand people (69.1 % against 2019), including in international traffic - 26 thousand passengers (14.5 % against 2019).

In 2020, the LDz Concern completed overhaul repair of 7091 km of tracks and medium repair of 5.871 km of tracks, 14,711 km of continuous-welded rail strings were replaced with new rails. Major overhaul repair of 4 railway crossings was carried out and 1 pedestrian crossing was arranged. 10 railway crossings were equipped with video surveillance systems. Major overhaul repair of 1 artificial structure (strengthening of the abutments of a metal bridge) was completed.

LDz periodically conducts bilateral investigations with neighboring railways as regards the delays in passenger and freight trains traffic, exchanges information and analyzes the reasons for delays.

The volumes of train traffic are agreed by the parties basing on the effective use of the throughput capacity of border (transfer) stations and adjacent sections.

At stations Rezekne and Daugavpils, Šķirotava and Jelgava, the processes of commercial inspection of wagons in freight trains and writing off and recognition of wagon numbers are automated.

Within the framework of the signed contracts, information messages are exchanged, which contain data about the composition of trains, the facts of their transfer from one railway to another, about wagons, containers, dispatches and transportation devices onboard these trains, about the facts and reasons for non-acceptance of goods, wagons and containers, as well as the admission and return of previously unadmitted wagons and containers.

Agreements have been signed with all neighboring railways on the electronic exchange of data on SMGS consignment notes for the carriage of goods in international railway traffic. A preliminary exchange of information about the dispatched goods is organised with BC and the RZD OJSC upon the admission of goods for transportation.

At the end of 2020, it is possible to arrange railway transportation using paperless technology in the following directions:

- transportation of empty wagons, with the exception of empty wagons of the rolling stock of common use, to the Russian Federation;

- transportation of loaded and empty wagons from the Russian Federation to the Republic of Latvia;

- transportation of loaded and empty wagons, including empty containers from/to the Republic of Lithuania;

- transportation of empty wagons, including empty containers from/to the Republic of Belarus;

- transportation of empty wagons of the rolling stock of common use in local traffic;

- transportation of empty wagons to the Russian Federation through the Republic of Belarus - transit;

- transportation of empty wagons to the Russian Federation through the Republic of Lithuania - transit;

- transportation of loaded and empty wagons to/from the Russian Federation from/to the Republic of Lithuania through the Republic of Latvia - transit;

- transportation of empty wagons to/from the Russian Federation from/to Kaliningrad through the Republics of Latvia and Lithuania - transit.

The following operations have been carried out in test mode:

- transportation of loaded wagons and empty containers from/to the Russian Federation;

- transportation of empty wagons from/to the Republic of Estonia;

- transportation of empty wagons from the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Estonia through the Republic of Latvia - transit;

- transportation of loaded wagons and containers from/to the Republic of Belarus.

Individual Interoperability Agreements have been signed with all neighboring railways using Trusted Third Party (TTP) technology for international railway freight traffic.

Joint activities with the Latvian Customs Service continue to automate the Customs procedures. According to the draft, the transit declaration will only be in electronic form if the consignment note for carriage is issued in electronic form.

In the first quarter, meetings were organised with the Center for Disease Prevention and Control of the Republic of Latvia. After consultations with the center, the LDz action plan was approved to reduce the risks of the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus infection, which includes: preventive measures and measures for rapid response. Basing on the plan, the structural divisions (Train Traffic Department, Track Department, Electrical and Technical Department) developed a procedure for ensuring the smooth operation of railway transport, highlighting the staff positions of crucial importance.

Responsible contact persons appointed in the structures of LDz were informed on the daily basis about the epidemiological situation and changes in the regulatory documents of the Republic of Latvia and the recommendations of the health authorities, which, in turn, informed the personnel of their subordinate units.

Оперативно организовывалось обеспечение работников железнодорожного транспорта средствами индивидуальной защиты и дезинфекции. Тем работникам, чья специфика работы позволяла работать из дома, была организована удалённая работа. Совещания, обсуждения, обучение и т. п., проводились, используя возможности видеоконференций.

Велся мониторинг фактов заболевания по регионам, с целью проведения дополнительных точечных мероприятий по снижению распространения коронавирусной инфекции COVID-19.

The provision of railway transport workers with personal protective equipment and disinfection was promptly organised. Remote work was organised for those workers whose work specifics allowed them to work from home. Meetings, discussions, training, etc., were conducted using the capabilities of videoconferencing.

The facts of the disease were monitored by region in order to carry out additional targeted measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus infection COVID-19.

The railway personnel were informed on a regular basis about the necessary preventive measures and the recommendations of the health authorities.

The Lithuanian Railways. The global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic the has become the biggest challenge for the Lietuvos geležinkeliai Group of Companies (LTG) in its more than one and a half century history. However, despite the unusual circumstances, the LTG group of companies managed to meet the challenges and achieve good operational and financial results. During the pandemic, LTG not only ensured the safety and healthcare of employees, but also extended a helping hand to clients, as well as to all residents of Lithuania who needed it: for example, in March, within only one day, special passenger trains were organised by which people were able to return to Lithuania from abroad; in April, LTG Cargo delivered goods from China with medical protective equipment for Lithuanian medical personnel by passing the route in a record time of just 9 days.

Between the first two waves of the pandemic, in July 2020, the renewed face of the Lithuanian Railways was presented - new trademarks, thus completing the formation of the largest group of companies operating in the field of railway transport in the Baltic States. From now on, each LTG company has a clear mission - LTG Infra is the manager of the public railway infrastructure, LTG Link provides socially important passenger transportation services, and LTG Cargo is specialized in providing freight services to Lietuvos geležinkeliai JSC, which for the first time has been delegated a new holding role: the company will be responsible for the supervision and performance of all LTG Group companies.

It is important to note that during the crisis, no single significant investment project of LTG was suspended. In 2020, important steps were taken to continue the implementation of the European Union's “Green Deal” - the foundation was laid for environmentally friendly and ecological projects that, in addition to bringing economic benefits to the entire country, will add more than one million ‘green’ kilometers, providing most transportation of goods and passengers without harmful effects on the atmosphere and environment. First of all, LTG Infra has launched a project to electrify sections of the main Lithuanian railway Vilnius – Klaipeda. By the time this project is completed (by the end of 2023), the carriers – LTG Link and LTG Cargo are planning to launch new electric rolling stock: the new passenger electric trains will provide comfortable and, most importantly, zero CO2 emissions, trips. The same zero-emission benefits will also be available to freight operators. It is important to note that electrification of railways is a priority not only for LTG Infra, but also for the entire European Union.

In 2020, the Lithuanian Railway carried 3.3 million passengers (60.6 % against 2019), including 166.5 thousand passengers in international traffic (17.5 % against 2019).

A total of 53.4 million tons of goods were transported in 2020 (96.8 % against 2019), including in international traffic - 37.8 million tons (95.6 % against 2019).

These figures indicate that the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and the imposed travel restrictions have affected the activities and the outcomes of the LTG carriers. The decrease in the volume of passenger traffic by LTG Link was especially significant. Since mid-March 2020, after the announcement of lockdown, passenger traffic on international routes has not been carried out at all. From 6 April, the traffic of transit trains was stopped and by the end of the year, only 6 international transit ttrains out of 32 were restored. Most of the domestic routes were canceled and at the end of 2020, out of 226 domestic trains, 103 trains were still not restored. All this led to a 40-% decrease in the total annual passenger traffic.

In 2020, 8 new container train routes were added to the freight train schedule:

- 1395/1396 Russia – Belarus – Lithuania – Russia:

Shushary – Ezerishche-joint – Gudogai – Kybartai – Kaliningrad-Sortirovochnyi, train length 57 conventional wagons;

- 1423/1424 China – Kazakhstan – Russia – Belarus – Lithuania – Russia – European countries:

Dostyk/Altynkol – Iletsk-I – Krasnoye – Gudogai – Kybartai – Chernyakhovsk/Dzerzhinskaya-Novaya/Mamonovo/Zheleznodorozhnyj/Kaliningrad-Sortirovochnyj/Bialystok, train length - 57 conventional wagons;

- 1425/1426 China – Kazakhstan – Russia – Belarus – Lithuania – Russia – European countries:

Altynkol – Iletsk-I – Krasnoye – Gudogai – Kybartai – Chernyakhovsk/Dzerzhinskaya-Novaya/Mamonovo/Zheleznodorozhny/Kaliningrad-Sortirovochnyj/Baltiysk, train length - 57 conventional wagons;

- 1441/1442 China – Kazakhstan – Russia – Belarus – Lithuania – Russia – European countries:

Altynkol – Semiglavyj Map – Krasnoye – Gudogai – Kybartai – Chernyakhovsk/Dzerzhinskaya-Novaya/Mamonovo/Zheleznodorozhnyj/Kaliningrad-Sortirovochnyj/Baltiysk, train length - 57 conventional wagons;

- 1383/1384 European countries – Russia – Lithuania – Latvia – Russia:

Chernyakhovsk/Kaliningrad-Sortirovochnyj – Sovetsk – Meitene – Zilupe – Tuchkovo/Kupavna/Orekhovo-Zuyevo/Belyj Rast, train length - 57 conventional wagons;

- 1306 Lithuania – Belarus – Russia:

Vevis/Kaunas (Palyamonas)/Vaidotai – Gudogai – Krasnoye – Tobolsk, train length - 57 conventional wagons of empty containers in one direction;

- 1152/1151 Belarus – Lithuania:

Gantsevichi – Stasilos - Akmenė, train length - 57 conventional wagons;

- 1166/1165 Belarus – Lithuania:

Mogilyev-2/Kozenki – Gudogai – Akmenė, train length - 57 conventional wagons.

As part of the modernization of infrastructure facilities planned for 2020, the LTG Infra invested twice as much in infrastructure repair and modernization projects as compared to 2019 – the capital investments amounted to 179 million euros (in 2019 - 87 million euros).

In order to increase the competitiveness of the Lithuanian transport sector and significantly reduce the impact of railway transport on the air pollution, the LTG Infra continued to implement the project for electrifying sections of the Vilnius-Klaipeda railway line, which is part of the IXb international transport corridor and OSJD railway transport corridor No. 9. During the project implementation, an extended section with a length of 731 km will be electrified. It is assumed that with the commissioning of electrified sections, fuel consumption for locomotive traction will decrease by at least 30 %, which will reduce the amount of harmful substances emitted into the atmosphere affecting negatively the climate change by 150 thousand tons. It is important to note that all enterprises of the LTG group have been using electricity only from renewable sources for several years and the electrification project will not only help to reduce the environmental pollution, but will also have a significant impact on the growth of green electricity production.

Along with that, projects to increase the throughput of railway infrastructure sections were realized during the implementation of the project “Construction of the second track of the Vilnius bypass railway Pusinas – Panariai of corridor IXb” 16 points of turnout switches were reconstructed, 15.67 km of railway tracks were reconstructed and laid down, 2,144 m of fences were installed. At the same time, during 2020, work was carried out within the projects “Construction of the second track on the Livintai – Gaizhunai section” and “Construction of the second track on the Plunge - Sateikiai section”. Within the framework of these two projects, the length of the reconstructed and renewed railway lines will extend to about 61 km.

Striving to be an environmentally friendly enterprise, the LTG group of companies continued to implement the projects focused on meeting the needs of society. In order to reduce the noise generated by the railway transport the construction works to build up the noise barriers at Kaisiadoris, Lentvaris and Mazeikiai stations were started, contracts were signed for the construction of the same facilities in Radviliskis, Šiauliai and Giruliai, and purchases were announced for Klaipeda and Kretinga stations. Upon completion of work at all sites, the total length of the noise barriers is expected to be about 18 km.

By increasing the level of security, in 2020, the intersections of railways and highways of crossing at Valčiunai station were modernized: an automatic alarm system with fences was installed, equipment for detecting trains was introduced, a pedestrian crossing alarm, a video surveillance system, and a fire and security alarm were installed.

The programme for the reconstruction of the main railway tracks was also carried out: crushed stone was cleared at 88.8 km of tracks, 80.3 km of rails were replaced, 44.2 km of new rails and sleepers were laid, 81.1 km of the tracks were reconstructed at a full extent, 15 bridges and overpasses were repaired, 34 turnout switches were replaced.

In order to improve the quality of service for passengers on international trains, a new border and customs control point has been opened at the Vilnius railway station.me

The following rolling stock overhaul programmes were implemented in 2020:

- 1529 freight wagons were repaired;

- 58 freight locomotives were repaired;

- 31 units of passenger rolling stock were repaired.

The LTG Link started the process of purchasing new passenger trains in 2020. At present, instead of operating diesel trains, about 30 new trains will be purchased, some of which will be electrically powered, and the others will be hybrid: electric traction is combined with batteries, which will ensure ecological transportation of passengers while continuing the train route along non-electrified sections of the network. All new passenger trains will be adapted to the needs of the disabled persons.

In 2020, the largest railway infrastructure project for the construction of Rail Baltica railway line continued to improve mobility, travel opportunities and business development. An important stage in the implementation of the project was completed in 2020: the Kaunas intermodal freight terminal became the northernmost land port with a 1435-mm gauge railway track, and a very convenient direction for the transportation of goods from Western Europe.

The works were continued on the Kaunas-Palemonas section, where the construction of a railway track, construction of drainage and discharge systems, retaining walls, noise-absorbing barriers, dampers, overall catering network, etc. were completed. The procedures for preparing a project for the acquisition and purchase of land for the construction of the Rail Baltica railway infrastructure project were completed. In the section from Kaunas to the border with the Republic of Latvia, construction surveys were carried out, and project proposals were prepared/ The archaeological exploration studies were completed on the projected line. The tender for the purchase of catering system for the construction of a bridge across the Neris River has been announced. It is expected d to be the longest bridge in the Baltic States: its length will be 1.5 km.

The total investment for the project in Lithuania is about 3 billion euros. According to the international agreements, the Rail Baltica project is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

LTG has been constantly acting towards facilitating and speeding up border crossing procedures by rail. In 2020, as in previous years, much attention was paid to the issues aimed at improving the interaction and regulating the operation of railway administrations with border and customs services: technological time standards were agreed for carrying out the necessary control operations at border stations, general investigations of delays were periodically conducted as for the passenger and freight trains, planned and unscheduled technical trainings of responsible employees were performed issues of improving infrastructure, introducing electronic document management were discussed jointly. To facilitate the inspection procedures and to avoid the delays of trains in excess of the established norm, the corresponding places in locomotives and wagons were sealed, the customs authorities of the Republic of Lithuania were preliminary informed about the goods arrival before their actual import/export, together with the information on the rules of the border and customs control procedures.

The “Lietuvos Geležinkeliai” JSC is the largest group of companies in the Baltic States dealing with the management of railway infrastructure, freight and passenger traffic. The group is composed of the parent company “Lietuvos geležinkeliai” JSC, eight directly subordinate companies, two public institutions and one associated company.

Continuing the transformation on the way to improving the company’s management and increasing its efficiency, the following structural changes took place in the LTG group of companies in 2020:

- in May 2020, the “Vilniaus lokomotyvų remontas depas” CJSC (specialised in the repair and modernization of locomotives and other rolling stock) together with the “Geležinkelio tiesimo centras” CJSC (specialised in the construction, modernization and reconstruction of railway tracks) established a subsidiary company Rail Lab, which is engaged in the certification of wagons produced in Belarus;

- in July 2020, the LTG Cargo JSC established a subsidiary company LTG Cargo Polska with the purpose of developing the international market, which is ti extend freight transportation services in Poland;

- in order to increase the competitiveness of LTG Cargo JSC, diversify services and increase the profitability of property, in November 2020, a subsidiary company of LTG Cargo JSC – LTG Wagons was established, which will deal with the lease of freight wagons.

Having completed the structural transformations in the LTG Group of Companies in 2018-2020 and having divided the activities of carriers and infrastructure manager into separate legal entities, a clear boundary emerged between the types of activities of enterprises:

- the companies engaged in the commercial activities (operating in a competitive market under the same conditions as other participants in the Lithuanian and foreign markets);

- the enterprises carrying out activities of public interest and ensuring the provision of services of public interest (performing functions assigned to them by the state);

- the enterprises engaged in the activities of a different nature.

By creating the image of an open, modern, efficient, valuable and significant for the state group of companies that enjoys the trust of customers, employees and the public, the company was re-branded and in July 2020 new company names and symbols of new trademarks were introduced. The new image reflects the significant changes that had taken place over the past few years, and the most important priorities are progress, sustainability and the creation of benefits for the state. The name of the parent company remained the same – “Lietuvos geležinkeliai” JSC, but a new abbreviation was introduced to emphasize the public spirit – LTG, which unites the names of the main companies of the group: LTG Link (passenger traffic), LTG Cargo (freight traffic), LTG Infra (railway infrastructure management).

Guided by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania dated 14 March 2020 and other accompanying documents, due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection, the following measures were announced throughout the Republic of Lithuania: the third level of readiness (full readiness) of the civil security system, quarantine and a confirmed quarantine mode. According to the quarantine requirements, the management of AB Lietuvos Geležinkeliai has set the goal of ensuring:

- safe movement across the border and within the country;

- safe operating conditions of the company, other requirements to ensure the non-stop operation of railway transport.

In order to meet the requirements of traffic across the borders and within the country, local documents have been prepared in the LTG group of companies, which stipulate:

- the requirements for crew members for the safe implementation of commercial and/or international freight traffic, requirements for safe border crossing through checkpoints specified in the Resolution, safe return of citizens to the Republic of Lithuania, transit arrangements;

- forced 14-day isolation of employees returning from abroad;

- safe arrival and return of employees to work;

- limiting the intensity of regular passenger traffic on intercity and suburban routes, allowing only seating positions at a distance of at least 1 meter and providing special security measures;

- disinfection of vehicles at the initial and final stops of each route, other documents that provide for the safe organisation of traffic on the railway tracks.

In order to meet the requirements for organising the LTG group’s activities, during the quarantine, the local documents were prepared, defining:

- the requirements for the organisation of work and remote customer service, except for cases when it is necessary to perform the relevant functions at the workplace;

- conditions for the mandatory provision of important emergency functions in the LTG group (organisation of work without employees, remote work, organisation and conduct of distance learning, requirements for employees, suppliers and contractors in quarantine conditions, actions of employees and managers in case of suspicion/detection of COVID-19, other local documents ensuring safe work on the railway for employees, their families, customers, suppliers, contractors during the pandemic).

In accordance with the decrees of the national level of the Chief of Emergency Situations and the recommendations of the National Center for Public Health under the Ministry of Health (NCPH), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other documents available on the website of the Ministry of Healthcare (MHC), the internal legal and regulatory acts (rules, recommendations, etc.) were updated on a regular basis. The documents identified the persons responsible for the control of the above requirements.

In the LTG Group, the measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have been taken since the day the extreme situation was declared. Considering that the LTG Group employed about 9000 people in 2020, a COVID-19 Emergency Working Group was established. Since the introduction of quarantine and up to the present, the situation is managed centrally, the working group on emergency situations discusses topical issues on a weekly basis, in accordance with the responsibilities and recommendations of the head of emergency operations at the state level, makes protocol decisions that are mandatory for implementation, and controls their observance. In order to successfully manage the risk of the infection spread the following measures have been taken within the enterprises of the LTG Group:

  1. More than 2000 employees were given the opportunity to work remotely from home, the professional risks of remote work were assessed accordingly, the working and IT tools were provided (platforms for cooperation, distance learning, team meetings, etc.), employees were familiarized with current and potential risks and trained in safe behaviour. It was recommended to continue working remotely until 31 March 2021 (or until the remote work permit is revoked).
  2. Critical activities identified. Particular attention has been paid to business continuity plans for critical transport operations, including full quarantine plans.
  3. At the beginning of the emergency situation, LTG employees working with external clients were trained in how to safely handle a potentially infected person.
  4. The flows of employees, distance and communication time were adjusted taking into account the decisions of the head of emergency situation control, well-organised work of personnel serving third parties, distances, markings, partitions, maintenance personnel and personnel providing movement were able to undergo COVID-19 testing.
  5. During the quarantine, trips, organisation of meetings, training, preventive health examinations of personnel, vaccinations and public events were suspended and are still limited and appropriately controlled.
  6. The information relevant to employees is published on the internal website of the LTG Group, where a particular section has been created (for regulating the wearing personal and other means, disinfection, cases of illness, rules of conduct, LTG Group hotline, LTG information center, etc.). In the LTG Group, the behaviour of employees is regulated by mandatory preventive rules, a temperature measurement algorithm and an employee action algorithm to identify an infected employee with COVID-19. Numerous guideliness have been prepared and printed describing the safe behavior, proper hand washing and disinfection, proper wearing of masks for face and nose, customer/contractor service, cyber security, workplace sharing, etc. On the internal website of the LTG Group employees are regularly informed about the observed situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the LTG Group and its prevention process.
  7. The personnel are provided with additional personal and other protective equipment to protect against the infection (disposable medical masks, disposable respirators with an FFP2 exhalation valve, muffs, shields, disposable gloves, gowns, complete sets of personal protection equipment (PPE) against infection in accordance with the approved issuance procedures), detergents and hand disinfection. There are 88 units of stationary dispensers with disinfectants installed in passenger trains and buildings.
  8. Wet cleaning of premises and trains, disinfection of certain surfaces and organised provision of disinfection services are carried out according to the schedule. To ensure the safety of employees and customers, rolling stock or premises are disinfected in the event when a COVID-19 case is identified.
  9. The management board of the LTG Group, together with the specialists of the relevant services, carry out preventive work: training for employees, consultations during which the need for proper PPE is explained, employees’ compliance with the established rules for the prevention of the COVID-19 spread, algorithms, decisions of the head of the working group on COVID-19 extreme situations. The revealed violations are promptly eliminated, the violators are warned in accordance with the established procedure.
  10. All employees are insured at the expense of the employer against the possible consequences of the COVID-19disease.
  11. In accordance with the EU Commission Directive 2020/739 (Biological risk factors at work), the LTG Group updated the occupational risk assessment taking into account the new biological risk factor (COVID-19), identified the groups of workers for whom this biological factor is especially relevant, the need to adopt measures. An intensive assessment of the psychosocial risk of employees is carried out, and preventive measures are taken to reduce stress at work and improve well-being.
  12. The subdivisions of the LTG Group are provided with thermometers as required, the heads of the subdivisions and the personnel of the security posts are responsible for ensuring that only healthy employees come to work. Thermal imagers are installed in five departments to register the health status of employees.
  13. The needs for disinfection and personal protective equipment are constantly monitored and supplemented on a regular basis. To purchase these protective means, centralized procurement was organised. The enterprises of the Group also met the requirements by their own.
  14. In cooperation with specialists from the Center for Public Healthcare, information is promptly collected about the personnel who have had contacts with the infected persons. Upon receipt of information from the Center that COVID-19 has been confirmed with an employee, the following measures are taken:

- the information is gathered necessitated to limit the spread of COVID-19, ensuring compliance with quarantine rules, identifying contact persons with high and low risk levels, making decisions on how to organise their work and applying additional protection measures to ensure the safety and health of personnel;

- according to the information provided by the employee, the necessary documents are filled out, statistics of the course of the diseases are kept, online contacts with the infected and isolated persons are maintained;

- disinfection of workplaces and premises is organised, other instructions of the National Center for Public Health are followed.

Since the extreme situation was announced in 2020, about 8 % of LTG employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection and have been actively monitored for their health.

The Railway of Moldova transported 2.9 million tons of goods in 2020 (67 % to the level of 2019), including transit - 319.4 thousand tons (28 % against 2019), export - 656.1 thousand tons (53 % against 2019), import - 1402.8 thousand tons (98 % against 2019), domestic traffic - 503.2 thousand tons (103 % against 2019).

720.2 thousand passengers were transported (62 % to the level of 2019), including: in international traffic - 103.9 thousand passengers (16 % against 2019), in suburban traffic - 536.9 thousand passengers (120 % against 2019), local traffic - 79.4 thousand passengers (113 % against 2019).

Within the framework of the project for the rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure of the section Bender – Basarabeasca – Etulia – Giurgiulesti, funded by the EBRD, the EIB and the European Union, two two-stage tenders were held: for the design and work implementation for the rehabilitation of the section Bender – Basarabeasca – Etulia – Giurgiulesti; for supervision over the design and work implementation for the rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure of the section Bendery – Basarabeasca – Etulia – Giurgiulesti. As a result of the tender, which was held in accordance with the Rules and Regulations for the Procurement of Goods and Services of the EBRD, through the electronic platform of the EBRD-ECEPP, the winners were defined. The design work will begin concurrently with the preparatory work for the rehabilitation immediately after the contracts are signed.

Within the framework of the project “Restructuring of the Railway of Moldova” a contract was signed between the “Railway of Moldova” SE and GE Transportation Parts, LLC for the purchase of 12 freight locomotives and renovation of the Basarabeasca locomotive depot. In July 2020, according to the terms of the contract, the first batch of locomotives arrived in the Republic of Moldova. All locomotives have passed a full cycle of tests in accordance with the declared characteristics and operational safety.

The adoption by the Government of the Republic of Moldova of quarantine measures and traffic restrictions created a number of obstacles to the fulfillment of contractual conditions related to the training of mechanics and technical personnel to provide maintenance to the TE33A locomotives. However, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Republic of Moldova, the issue of the visit of technical specialists from the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Moldova to conduct personnel training was resolved.

To maintain the freight wagons of the working fleet in a technically sound condition, a repair programme was carried out at CFM, including overhaul and depot types of repair. So, during the reporting period, 135 wagons underwent overall repair, while 679 wagons underwent depot repair.

By the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Moldova No. 1042 as of 5 December 2017, the Concept for the restructuring of the railway sector and the State Enterprise “Railway of Moldova” for 2018-2021 was approved, according to which the key strategy for the CFM is the creation of a railway that is completely financially independent, with the costs covered by the company.

This Concept provides for an industry-wide restructuring, while the following important aspects will be covered:

- changes in the legislation and the adoption of new legislative acts in the field of railway sector in full compliance with the EU legislation;

- the creation of railway organisations, mainly a regulatory body, a safety body and an accident investigation body;

- restructuring of the CFM, including the separation of various activities, in particular, the separation of infrastructure from operating activities.

This is a scenario for the revitalization of the railway sector in the Republic, as it includes the investments required for infrastructure and support for restructuring, as well as the consolidation of capacities at the level of public authorities, which will face new challenges in this sector.

The CFM restructuring process is divided into three stages:

- at the stage of corporatization, the state-owned enterprise CFM is to be transformed into a joint-stock company;

- the operationalization phase will prepare the company for a complete spin-off and the creation of independent companies for infrastructure and operational activities;

- at the stage of commercialization, new companies will be established that will operate independently.

With the purpose of harmonization of national legislation in the field of railway transport in 2018-2019. a draft new Code of Railway Transport was developed, approved by the Government of the Republic of Moldova and sent for consideration and approval by the National Parliament.

The adoption of the new Code provides for the elimination of the state enterprise Railway of Moldova’s monopoly in the railway services market. According to the draft Code, the railway infrastructure will continue to belong to the state, while the private enterprises will also be able to provide passenger and cargo transportation services.

Under the new rules, rail operators will have the right to access the railway infrastructure basing on a fee for using it. The fee will be set in accordance with the calculation methodology approved by the Government. Private operators will set the cost of transportation independently.

Companies providing railway transportation services will operate on the basis of a permit document – a safety certificate, and the company in charge of infrastructure - on the basis of a safety authorization.

Thus, the restructuring of the CFM will be carried out in parallel with the restructuring of the railway sector as a whole. This will be a process integrated into the European policy in this field in accordance with the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, signed on 27 June 2014 and ratified by Law No. 112 as of 2 July 2014.

Since the beginning of the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus infection, a whole range of preventive measures has been taken on the Railway of Moldova in order to prevent the spread of this infection, namely:

- all long-distance trains, including personnel, were provided with personal hygiene equipment and disinfectants, masks, gloves, first aid kits and special packages for providing emergency assistance to passengers. Before entering service on the route, the trains underwent cleaning, washing and preventive disinfection. After passengers left the train at the stations, additional cleaning of premises, toilets, disinfection of hand railings in coaches and vestibules (portals) was also performed;

- All long-distance train personnel, including train managers, foremen and conductors, were instructed on the prophylactic and preventive measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 infection. In addition, passengers underwent medical control at the Ungheni sanitary control point by specialists of the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service together with the border service, taking temperature measurements and filling out epidemiological cards;

- at the medical aid posts of the locomotive and carriage depot, pre-trip medical examinations of personnel were carried out on a daily basis. Besides, sanitary and epidemiological supervision specialists and train crews along the route performed monitoring among passengers in order to identify infected and contact persons with the compilation of lists of passengers and with the subsequent transfer of information to medical institutions;

- the railway stations were equipped with installations for remote thermometry of passengers before entering the railway platforms boarding the trains;

- the medical personnel were promptly informed about the passengers registered with the body febrile course, in order to assess the patient's condition and provide primary medical care;

- passengers with febrile course were restricted from boarding the train (with the assistance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Border-Guard Service of the Republic of Moldova) until the arrival of a medical officer;

- the obligatory use of personal protective equipment (masks, respirators, if necessary, gloves, skin antiseptics) was introduced for the personnel working at the objects of mass concentration of people (stations, long-distance trains) who have contact with passengers in the line of their duty;

- together with the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Border Guard Service of the Republic of Moldova, a ban was implemented to prevent the passengers with symptoms not excluding the new coronavirus infection boarding the train;

- additional briefings were carried out with employees of the passenger branch about the actions to be taken in case an infected person is identified with symptoms that do not exclude a new coronavirus infection (fever, the presence of respiratory symptoms);

- audio broadcasting was organised and visual agitation signs were installed to inform passengers about the precautionary measures in the context of the spread of COVID-19, about the need to maintain a distance to other citizens of at least 1-2 meters, maximum separation, use of protective masks and gloves;

- provision is made for the removal from the train and hospitalization of a passenger with symptoms that do not exclude a new coronavirus infection, if identified enroute;

- carrying out a set of primary anti-epidemic measures - general cleaning of passenger coaches, airing them, carrying out disinfection measures, providing items for observing personal hygiene of personnel and passengers, as well as disinfectants;

- provision of passenger trains (headquarters coaches, onboard restaurants) with complete medical kits in accordance with the standards;

- timely provision in full of the Center for Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance (ODS department) with substances and medicine for disinfection and deratization measures on trains, as well as personal protective equipment and overalls in accordance with the standards.

On the Ulan Bator Railway, the traffic volume in 2020 amounted to 30 million tons of goods (+6 % as compared to 2019). The freight turnover increased by 10.3 % and amounted to 19 billion tons/km. According to the working results for 2020, 241,307 TEUs of containers were transported in transit through Mongolia in the composition of 2,312 container trains, with an increase of 159 % as compared to the level of 2019.

On the Polish State Railways in 2020, PKP Cargo JSC continued to work on the creation of new container routes and on the revitalization of old routes after the break. On some routes, trains have been running on a regular basis, and on some of them they are dispatched on request. In intermodal traffic provided in each direction, the range of commodities has been variegated.

In 2020, at the request of customers, transportation was carried out on the following new routes:

  1. Terespol – Tilburg, Dourges, Liege, Gent, Melzo (containers);
  2. Swarzędz – Duisburg (semi-trailers)
  3. Sestokai – Kaldenkirchen (semi-trailers)
  4. Itermodal trains:

Małaszewicze – Wrocław Swojczyce

Małaszewicze – Gliwice

Małaszewicze – Melzo

Małaszewicze – Venlo

Małaszewicze – Liege

Małaszewicze – Tilburg

Małaszewicze – Dourges

Małaszewicze – Ludwigshafen

Kaunas – Kaldenkirchen

Swarzędz – Krefeld

Korsze – Melzo

Slawkow – Melzo

Gliwice – Paskov

Kąty Wrocławskie – Paskov

  1. Contrailer trains:

Swarzędz – Fallersleben – Bremen – Swarzędz

Koper Luka – Bytom

Koper Luka – Sosnowiec Zagórze

Trnava – Legionowo.

At the same time, on many international routes, work continued to expand the use of the unified CIM/SMGS consignment note.

The PKP Cargo JSC continued to invest in the modernization and development of the railway infrastructure. In particular, the most significant are the following projects:

- modernization of the Małaszewicze terminal (completion is scheduled for 2021);

- construction of the Zduńska Wola Karsznice terminal, which is scheduled for completion in 2023;

- construction of a terminal in Geniusze near the Polish-Byelorussian border crossing point Kuźnica Białostocka – Bruzgi, which is scheduled for completion in 2022.

To increase the efficiency of transportation, the purchase of new and the modernization of the rolling stock in operation was continued. The PKP Cargo has 21 modern multi-system Siemens locomotives in its traction rolling stock fleet, intended for transportation outside Poland: to Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary - on the routes with a track gauge of 1435 mm, and 3 of them are also approved for operation in The Netherlands. Within the framework of the contract for the supply of multisystem locomotives in January 2020, the PKP Cargo received 2 Siemens multisystem locomotives, as well as more than 400 new freight wagons.

In addition, the PKP Cargo has 10 modern 6-axle single-system electric locomotives designed to service heavy freight trains in the domestic traffic (gauge 1435 mm), produced in 2018 and 2019. Some locomotives are equipped with an additional power source - a rechargeable energy storage system that provides for a temporarily move using the electricity obtained from the regenerative braking of the locomotive.

Due to the increased demand for container transportation in 2019-2023, the PKP Cargo plans to procure 1156 platform wagons. In March 2019, an agreement was signed with Tatravagonka a.s. for the supply of 936 wagons for the transport of containers. By the end of 2020, under this contract, the PKP Cargo had purchased 350 wagons. Another contract for the supply of 220 flat wagons was signed with Wagony Świdnica Sp. z o.o. and ASTRA Rail Industries S.A. (December 2019).

Investments in rolling stock for intermodal transport are financed from EU aid funds in the amount of 50 % of eligible costs.

In the coming years, to ensure the development of intermodal transportation, it is planned to purchase additional units of rolling stock (multisystem locomotives, platform wagons for piggyback transportation), depending on the dynamics of traffic growth. Due to the constantly growing traffic volume, the PKP Cargo Connect takes special measures to ensure sufficient rolling stock in order to maintain efficient transport services in the intermodal segment.

In 2019-2022, the PKP Cargo JSC plans to purchase 1156 new flat wagons for container transportation on 1435 mm track gauge.

As part of the work to facilitate the border crossing procedures by rail, the PKP Cargo JSC took measures for the smooth passage of freight flows in the East – West – East direction, which was facilitated by the continuation of cooperation:

  1. a) multilateral, including:

- within the framework of the Seven-Party Agreement (the initiative of the PKP Cargo JSC in the development of a joint permanent schedule of container trains on the New Silk Road (NSR), taking into account slots at the destination terminals in Poland and Germany, the introduction of supervision and monitoring of such traffic in order to coordinate the transportation process with border operations and optimization of the transportation period);

- continuation of work on diversification of container traffic on the NSR through the remaining border crossing points of 1435/1520-mm gauge (PKP-BC/Russian Railways with the aim of redirecting container flows passing through the Brest-Terespol border crossing point and preserving the transportation of other goods through this border crossing point;

  1. b) bilateral – with the neighboring 1520-mm gauge railways to optimize the use of the transshipment capacities of the PKP-RZD/LG/BC/UZ border crossing points, to include:

- implementation of the principle of mutual technical trust with the BC on container trains (mutual recognition of the technical control of container trains);

- improvement of the technology of train movement at the border PKP – LTG (signing of additional Protocol No. 3 to the Agreement on cooperation in the field of international railway transport across the Polish-Lithuanian state border, as of 31 December 2013), deepening cooperation in the field of servicing multiple trains (signing of an annex to the Agreements on the Access of Locomotives and Locomotive Crews for International Rail Carriage across the Polish-Lithuanian Border);

- conclusion of a new Agreement on cooperation in the field of international railway freight traffic across the Polish-Byelorussian state border (dated 22 December 2020) between the PKP Cargo JSC and the Byelorussian Railway, substituting the previous agreement as of 2009, which stipulates some new important principles for improving the work at the border crossings point PKP – BC, namely:

  • clear rules have been defined for the joint coordination of daily norms for the transfer of trains/loaded wagons,
  • cooperation became possible on the basis of “mutual technical trust”;
  1. c) domestic/national – with border and customs services, railway infrastructure managers, carriers, transshipment companies, importers/consignees (adjusting the duration of the border services’ working hours with the volumes of transported goods, reducing control operations of border and customs services through preliminary information and mutual synchronization, cooperation of railway infrastructure managers and carriers in the field of coordinating the transportation process with the process of modernizing the railway infrastructure, optimizing the mutual use of traction potential and the system-investment assets).

As part of the programme for reforming and improving the railway transport management system, in 2020 the PKP Cargo JSC completed the process of equipping members of locomotive crews with mobile devices – tablets, which also required the adaptation of the IT-system to compatible interaction with tablets and changes in the existing instructions and manuals of the company.

In order to ensure an uninterrupted functioning of railway transport in the context of the pandemic, the Anti-Crisis Management Team of the PKP Cargo JSC (ZZKS) has been continuously working since March 2020 with the participation of all structural enterprises and companies of the PKP Cargo Group.

During the ZZKS meetings, a number of decisions were made in the field of countering COVID-19 and ensuring the continuity of the most important functions and processes that support the implementation of transportation and repair-maintenance works, which are carried out in compliance with all necessary sanitary requirements and standards. Company employees are provided with all necessary disinfectants and personal protective equipment (gloves, masks).

The personnel and operational situation are monitored on a permanent basis. In cases the number of identified infected persons is increased, special and systemic measures are taken to ensure sustainable functioning in a specific area or direction.

The procedures have been implemented for individual employees, including those working in operations, maintenance or marketing. Information activities are being carried out to raise awareness among employees in order to reduce the risk of infection. Lists of employees and vehicles intended for work in border-crossing traffic conditions are drawn up and submitted to the competent authorities on a regular basis. The lists are updated depending on the personnel situation and operational needs.

In connection with the continuing restrictions due to the pandemic, the PKP Cargo JSC has developed procedures, rules and instructions for employees directly related to the safety of railway traffic, including the personnel of the locomotive crews. These include, in particular:

1) instructions for train drivers and employees directly related to the safety of railway traffic in case of a threat of coronavirus infection;

2) emergency package - that is, procedures for equipping electric trains with personal protective equipment to protect the personnel from virus infection.

In 2020, the PKP Broad-Gauge Metallurgical Line LLC (PKP Linia Hutnicza Szerokotorowa, PKP LHS) transported 8.2 million tons of goods (–15.9 % to the level of 2019), including export - 620.7 thousand tons (–4 %), import - 7.6 million tons (–16.7 %), domestic traffic - 12.9 thousand tons (–28.9 %).

In 2020, after a short break caused by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, PKP LHS carried out next regular container shipments from Xi'an to Slavków (LHS) in cooperation with Xian Fge Tgade Rot Construction and Operation, Ltd. as well as logistics partners from Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine.

In 2020, on average, 4-7 trains a month arrived at the Slavków station, where the Euroterminal Slavków is located. Further on, the goods were reloaded onto the railway flat wagons with a gauge of 1435 mm and onto the road vehicles for further delivery to target recipients in Poland and other European countries. Transportation along this route is carried out efficiently and is not associated with problems typical for other railway routes.

In October 2020, transportation was also launched from the Chinese city of Chongqing through Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, and in December - through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

The choice of the LHS wide-gauge line was due to its advantages, including:

- no need for reloading at the border of the European Union;

- the ability to transport the longest container trains in Europe with a length of up to 950 meters;

- potential of Euroterminal Slavków.

Slavków is also the start of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TMTM), which makes it possible to export food and thus balance the flow of goods towards China.

In 2020, the PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A., PKP PLK JSC, the manager of the Polish national railway network, continued the largest ever investment programme aimed at significantly improving the condition of railways and infrastructure in the country.

The outcomes of 2020 indicate, that about 890 km of tracks were modernized and updated, as well as a number of railway infrastructure facilities were modernized, including:

  • platforms - 144;
  • level crossings (А-D) - 306;
  • overhead catering network - 900.58 km;
  • turnout switches - 1010;
  • bridges - 121;
  • overpasses - 59.

Within the framework of measures related to facilitating the border crossing procedures by rail, in 2020 PKP PLK JSC continued to modernize the border crossing points between Poland and Belarus, aimed at increasing the throughput and reducing the travel time.

In 2020, the PKP PLK JSC and BC signed a new Agreement on cooperation in the field of management, operation and infrastructure of railways for the traffic across the Polish-Byelorussian state border, which substituted the 2009 agreement.

In terms of high-speed traffic development, an important event for PKP PLK JSC in 2020, from the point of view of infrastructure development, became the introduction of a maximum travel speed of 200 km/h for passenger trains on the section of the international transport corridor E65 - on the railway line No. 9 Warsaw – Gdansk.

In accordance with the concept of preparation and implementation of the investment project “Port Solidarność” - Central Communication Port for the Republic of Poland (Centralny Port Komunikacyjny – CPK Sp. z o.o.), a special purpose partnership (CPK) is responsible for the construction of new railway lines, which are part of the “direct lines to the CPK”, while the PKP PLK JSC is responsible for the modernization of the existing infrastructure. In this regard, in 2020, the PKP PLK JSC cooperated on an ongoing basis with the CPK in terms of target technical parameters for the existing railway lines included in the list of direct lines to the CPK, as well as for the creation of a new passenger transport corridor V4 Warsaw – Budapest with the parameters of a high-speed railway.

To ensure the uninterrupted functioning of the railway transport in the conditions of the pandemic, the company has developed appropriate procedures, including the “Recommendations for the procedures in case of suspected infection with a particularly dangerous and highly contagious disease” and Procedure NAT7 – “Occurrence of especially dangerous and highly infectious diseases/epidemics”, which determines the procedure rulesw for railway enterprises in the event of such a threat.

In accordance with the adopted procedures, the PKP PLK JSC interacts with the government and local authorities in the event of emergency and crisis situations. Cooperation is mainly based on the contacts with the relevant crisis management centers. However, in case of suspicion of the occurrence of a coronavirus infection, contact is additionally maintained with the competent regional and border sanitary inspectors. Contacts with the Voivodship Crisis Management Centers (WCZK) are maintained by the local railway traffic control offices.

In order to ensure the continuity of the transport process, the “Guidelines for the operation department in the field of ensuring the continuity of the transport process in the event the operation of the transport posts is stopped due to the development of an epidemic situation” were developed.

The launched “Railway Crisis Management System” coordinates the activities of railway enterprises and, in the event of a threat to the sustainable transport process, makes appropriate decisions to ensure its functioning.

The pandemic have had a negative impact on the passenger transport sector: as a result of the restrictions imposed, the movement of a number of passenger trains, both in international and domestic traffic, was suspended. In addition, the number of passengers significantly decreased, as a result of which in 2020 the PKP Intercity JSC carried 26.7 million passengers, which is 45 % less as compared to the level of 2019 (48.9 million people), including 800 thousand people in international traffic, which is 47 % less than in 2019 (1.5 million people).

The epidemic and related restrictions have made frequent changes to the organisation of both domestic and international transport since March 2020. As compared to the number of trains running daily in the 2018/2019 schedule, in mid-March 2020, about 60 % of the trains were canceled, and 8 % of the trains ran on shortened routes. During the spring restrictions, the drop in the population on trains reached 93-94 %. The company re-organised its work in the new environment and took a number of measures to ensure the safety of passengers and staff on the trains. The gradual traffic recovery process began in May 2020.

From the beginning of June to the end of August 2020, 8.3 million passengers used the PKP Intercity services, i.e. 41 % less than in the same period of the previous year, when 14.2 million people used the carrier’s services. Continued restrictions in the public sphere again caused a decrease in passenger traffic. In the first half of November, the average drop in the number of tickets sold and seat reservations for the PKP Intercity trains reached about 65 % as compared to the level of 2019. In this regard, the number of running trains and their composition were again limited according to the situation. About 5 % of the running trains were temporarily cancelled.

From the very beginning of the pandemic, the PKP Intercity JSC has developed and implemented a number of measures to ensure the continuous operation and implementation of the transportation process, as well as to maintain a high level of safety for passengers and personnel.

The PKP Intercity JSC implements its activities for the maintenance of rolling stock on a daily basis. The most important places and elements of the equipment of the coaches, which passengers directly use, are disinfected on a regular basis, to include: door handles, handrails, control buttons for doors and dry closets. The process of cleaning and disinfection of trains is carried out throughout the country and all departments, due to which each train is sanitized, respectively, before and after each trip. Since March 2020, a total of over 335 thousand disinfections of locomotives, coaches and multiple unit trains have been carried out, as well as over 6 thousand disinfections by using the fogging method.

The train masters and crews were provided with personal protective equipment and personal hygiene - masks, gloves, gel for cleaning and disinfecting hands. Contact with passengers during ticket control was preserved with a safe distance, which was ensured by using the state-of-the-art contactless terminals.

The measures taken to ensure sanitary safety were highly appreciated by passengers. The results of the satisfaction survey conducted show that 83 % of passengers have positively assessed these measures (this has been the best result since 2013, when PKP Intercity began systematically conducting surveys to determine the level of satisfaction. The health safety is one of the activities within the framework of the general social programme “safe railway”, which was initiated in autumn 2020 by the PKP Intercity JSC and the Polish Chamber of Manufacturers of Equipment and Services for the Railway, with the aim of developing and implementing high safety standards for railway transport.

In 2020, as a result of the implementation of two contracts, the PKP Intercity JSC received 30 newest electric locomotives of the EU160 Griffin series manufactured by NEWAG (the city of Nowy Sącz). They move trains throughout Poland at a maximum speed of 160 km/h. The carrier’s rolling stock was also replenished with 125 comfortable coaches, modernized at the PESA Bydgoszcz plant (an OSJD affiliated enterprise). These are second class seated coaches without compartments, which provide many amenities for passengers, such as air conditioning, comfortable seats, sockets for charging various electrical devices, wireless Internet and braille signs for the persons with eye disabilities. In 2020, the carrier also received 10 145Ab coaches, modernized at the factory for the production of railway rolling stock “Fabrykа Pojazdów Szynowych H. Cegielski” (Poznan) and converted into the dining cars, where 12 tables with 36 seats were provided for visitors, with air conditioning and wireless Internet available.

In total, within the framework of the rolling stock renewal programme, the carrier’s fleet has been already supplemented with 340 modernized coaches. In addition, the company entered into an agreement with Olkol for the modernization of 20 electric locomotives of the EU/EP07 (EU/EP07) series, which, among other things, provides for an increase in the maximum speed of movement up to 160 km/h.

In December 2020, the PKP Intercity JSC signed contracts with the wagon repair plants of “ZNTK Mińsk Mazowiecki S.A.” and “Pesa Bydgoszcz S.A.” for the modernization of another 125 coaches. In 2021, the renewal of the rolling stock continues, within which PESA Bydgoszcz is to modernize about 120 multi-section trains (EMUs and DMUs) for the company.

In 2020, the PKP Informatika LLC was developing the project “SMGS electronic consignment note” commissioned by the PKP Cargo JSC and continued to develop the project “Single Ticket” for the companies providing passenger transportation services.

In 2020, 872 million passengers (–27.2 % against 2019), including 804.54 million passengers (–25.6 %) in suburban traffic and 67.44 million passengers in long-distance traffic (–42.1 %) were dispatched on the Russian Railways. The passenger turnover amounted to 78.1 billion pass-km (–41.4 %), including in long-distance traffic the passenger turnover amounted to 53.5 billion pass-km (–46 %). In suburban traffic, the passenger turnover amounted to 24.7 billion passenger-kilometers (–28.1 %).

The loaded goods volume amounted to 1,243.6 million tons, which is 2.7 % lower than the level of 2019. The tariff freight turnover decreased by 2.2 % against 2019 and amounted to 2,544.4 billion t-km. Domestic traffic amounted to 757.9 million tons (–3.8 %), export traffic - 473.9 million tons (–0.9 %), transit - 23.1 million tons (–3.7 %).

The volume of foreign trade traffic with the OSJD member countries in 2020 amounted to 255.5 million tons, which is 1.0 % higher than the level of 2019. The volume of export traffic amounted to 159.7 million tons, which is 3 % higher than the level of 2019, import - 63.6 million tons, which is 7 % lower than the level of 2019. The volume of transit traffic amounted to 32.1 million tons, or 5 % more than the level of 2019.

The main volume of the investment programme is aimed at performing all types of overhaul repair of the railway track.

At the end of 2020, work was completed in the amount of 5260.2 km of the railway track, with 2113 sets of turnout switches installed.

Within the framework of the project “Renovation of enterprises of the rolling stock fleet” one of the key tasks is the implementation of works for the renewal of the rolling stock.

In 2020, 1258 wagons were purchased for track repair and maintenance works, 242 units of track equipment were purchased, as well as 5 infrastructure diagnostics complexes.

In addition, 2403 special freight wagons were modernized.

In 2020, the Russian Railways OJSC continued its work aimed at developing high-speed railway traffic in the Russian Federation. In particular, the work has begun for the development of design documentation for the construction of a high-speed highway (HSR) line Moscow – St. Petersburg. In June 2020, an agreement was signed with a project company to perform of on the relevant engineering survey works, the development of documentation for the planning of territories and the preparation of project documentation.

The length of the planned high-speed railway line is expected to be approximately 684 km, the travel time, excluding stops, - 2 hours 15 minutes. The HSR line will connect the country's largest agglomerations with a total population of about 30 million people, with the cities of Veliky Novgorod, Tver and Klin connected to it, as well.

The completion of the construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway is planned for the end of 2027.

One of the measures aimed at simplifying the border crossing procedures is the creation of the most favourable conditions for the movement of goods across the customs border by automating the operations performed, using the information technologies by applying the elements of artificial intellect, optimizing the activities of the control bodies.

The implementation of the “Single Window”| mechanism. The implementation in practice of such a mechanism will reduce the complexity of the movement of goods across the borders and reduce the time spent for performing administrative procedures and the costs for the entities participating in the foreign economic activities.

As part of the implementation of the “Single Window’ mechanism in the Russian Federation, the Russian Railways OJSC has created an automated information system for electronic interaction (FCS EI AS) for the exchange of electronic data and documents with the automated information system of the Federal Customs Service (FCS) of Russia (UAIS) when exporting and importing goods to/from the customs territory of the Customs union.

The transition to a full use of electronic data exchange technologies between the railway administrations on the borders will provide an automatic distribution of preliminary information to the information system of customs authorities, which will improve the rates of freight trains processing when registering their arrival at the railway checkpoint by obtaining the information from consignment notes in advance from the railway stations where the goods were loaded. The preparation of electronic versions of transit declarations can also be carried out by the customs representative of the Russian Railways OJSC in advance if the data can be obtained from the transportation documents.

In order to create a unified system of customs transit, the railways and the customs authorities of Russia and Belarus launched the transportation on the routes Naushki – Brest, Naushki – Orsha, Naushki – Kolyadichi using the electronic document management when moving goods through the territories of several EAEU member states. At present, work is underway to implement transportation according to the same principle in the opposite direction from Europe to South-East Asia through the Brest and Zabaikalsk border crossing points.

Within the framework of the Silk Road initiative, with the purpose of simplifying the border crossing procedures for the freight transit traffic organised from Finland to China through the territory of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan, the RZD OJSC and the Federal Customs Service of Russia are implementing the technology of using the results of the customs control carried out by the Finnish customs authorities. As a result of the customs control, the MRN number (transportation identification number) of the Finnish customs service is used, which is transmitted through the information communications channels of railway carriers to the information service of the Federal Customs Service of Russia.

Upon receiving the MRN number, the Federal Customs Service of Russia applies a simplified procedure for performing customs operations in relation to the transit goods on the basis of mutual recognition of the customs control findings.

This technology makes it possible to increase the speed of trains passing through the checkpoints on the Russian-Finnish border, to optimize and accelerate the customs operations, to increase the efficiency of customs control with the reasonable use of a risk management system (RMS).

The INTERTRAN project is being successfully implemented – this is a comprehensive project for the implementation of intermodal transportation with the implementation of electronic documents, in which the operator of the sea line, the carrier represented by the RZD OJSC, the customs authorities, consignors and consignees take part.

The information technology provides an electronic processing as follows:

- registration of transport and shipping documents in a foreign port, transfer of electronic data about the goods to the automated system of the port;

- electronic customs declaration of the goods placed under the customs transit procedure;

- registration of applications and railway consignment notes for the carriage of goods, including planning, coordination and further control of the transportation process;

- processing of wagons and organisation of electronic document circulation during planning and during the delivery/cleaning of wagons in the port and during their departure;

- completion in electronic form of the customs transit procedure at the station of destination.

At the border transfer stations of the railways of the Russian Federation, 15,210 wagons were uncoupled in import and transit traffic in 2020, which is 49.7 % of the total number of detained wagons in all types of traffic. The indicated quantity is by 2353 units or 13.4 % less than in 2019. The average idling time of uncoupled wagons decreased from 4.4 to 4.2 days, or by 4.5 % as compared to 2019.

The development of the transport system is one of the most important strategic trends for the Russian Federation.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has become a very difficult year for the Russian Railways and the Russian economy as a whole. The global crisis forced to take additional measures to support certain sectors of the economy and to adjust a number of strategic documents.

  1. Support for railway transport in connection with the COVID-19 pandemics.

In order to support passenger transportation by rail, a number of resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation were adopted (No. 927 dated 26 June 2020, No. 1698 dated 16 October 2020), in accordance with which this type of transportation was included in the list of industries affected by the spread of the new coronavirus infection, which will allow to use the support measures, including a deferral in the payment of all taxes (except VAT), as well as rent payments when using real estate in state, municipal or private ownership, interest-free loans for urgent needs and payment of salaries, soft loans at a rate of 2 % for any purpose, a moratorium on bankruptcy, scheduled and unscheduled inspections.

  1. The Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 474 dated 21 July 2020 “On the national development goals of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2030” clarified the tasks of railway transport in the medium term, including its digital transformation, ensuring the growth rate of the country’s gross domestic product above the world’s average while maintaining macroeconomic stability, with the real growth in the export of non-primary non-energy goods at least 70 percent as compared to 2020, etc.
  2. New strategies for the development of industries and regions. The new strategic documents affecting the development of the railway transportation market in 2020 were the approved Consolidated Strategy for the Development of the processing industry of the Russian Federation until 2024 and for the period until 2035, the Programme for the Development of the Coal Industry of Russia for the Period until 2035, the National Programme of Socio-Economic Development The Far East for the period up to 2024 and for the future until 2035.
  3. Development of the Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2035. One of the most important areas was the work of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation on the draft Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2035.

The main long-term priorities of the state policy in the field of transport are:

- improving the quality of life of the population by providing the user with high-quality infrastructural services for moving by all available modes of transport in order to meet their labour, social and cultural needs;

- ensuring a balanced and advanced development of transport infrastructure and modes of transport in relation to other sectors of the economy and spheres of life;

- guaranteed normative maintenance of transport infrastructure as a prerequisite for ensuring the territorial integrity, connectivity and security of the country;

- meeting the growing needs of the population for high-quality and safe transport services;

- customer focus at all stages of service provision;

- ensuring economically efficient transportation of goods, their territorial and price availability;

- reduction of transport costs;

- timeliness, predictability, regularity and reliability of transport services in freight traffic;

- increasing the digital maturity of the transport system.

In the field of railway transport, it is planned to:

- increase the volume of freight traffic along the railway network in the eastern direction;

- provide government support for long-distance railway passenger traffic;

- develop fast-speed and high-speed traffic between large urban agglomerations and centers of economic growth of the country;

- create new directions and eliminate the restrictions for carrying and throughput capacity;

- integration of railway transport into the urban environment.

  1. Updating the Long-Term Development Programme of the RZD OJSC. The clarification in 2020 of the national development goals of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2030, the adoption of new strategic documents for the development of industries and regions, work on the Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2035, as well as changes in the macroeconomic and regulatory conditions for implementing them made it necessary to update the Long-Term Development Programme of the RZD OJSC, which will enter its active phase in 2021.

In connection with the worsening epidemiological situation, in order to coordinate the activities of units and departments for preventing negative impact on the transportation process, the Russian Railways holding established a Headquarters to prevent the entry and spread of the new coronavirus infection to ensure an uninterrupted transportation process at the RZD OJSC.

The work of the Headquarters is organised on the 24-hour basis. The top officials of the RZD OJSC, its subsidiaries and dependent companies, representatives of federal executive authorities and the railway trade union take part in the work of the Headquarters.

In February 2020, the RZD OJSC, with the participation of federal ministries, approved the “Comprehensive action plan to prevent the delivery by rail and the spread of infectious diseases on the territory of the Russian Federation that cause emergencies in the field of sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population for 2020-2023”.

Work has been organised to implement the measures provided for by the Comprehensive Plan, both at the level of the central Headquarters and at the level of the regional headquarters, with the leading role of the heads of railways.

The interaction plans of the involved railway services with law enforcement agencies, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia, territorial departments of the Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) for Railway Transport, health care institutions in the implementation of anti-epidemic measures at railway stations and in passenger trains in the event of emergency situations of a sanitary and epidemiological nature have been updated.

In the course of the work of the Headquarters, the adoption of decisions and the implementation of the following main activities in accordance with them was ensured:

  1. A high alert regime has been declared on the railway network due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation.
  2. A procedure was approved for the heads of entities describing the measures to be taken in case an employee were infected with a new coronavirus infection.
  3. Command and staff exercises were held on the railway branches, with the development of functional duties and practical skills in case a person is suspected with infectious disease.
  4. Measures were taken to organise a remote mode of work for employees.
  5. Work was carried out to prepare healthcare institutions of the RZD OJSC for the mass admission of patients with coronavirus infection, as well as to equip the clinical diagnostic laboratories for performing tests to detect coronavirus infection.
  6. Posters and leaflets for the prevention of coronavirus infection have been developed for distribution in all departments.
  7. At the RZD OJSC, all collective events were prohibited except those that directly affect the safety of transportation.
  8. Basing on the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor, “Temporary Regulations for the free issuance of protective equipment for employees of the RZD OJSC” were developed and approved for the conditions of high alert mode due to an unfavorable epidemiological situation and “Temporary norms for the consumption of disinfectants when processing premises and territories of enterprises for the prevention of diseases caused by the new coronavirus infection.
  9. Monitoring was organised on a daily basis of the provision of workers with protective equipment and disinfectants for the treatment of premises and territory.
  10. Transportation of a number of employees to/from work was organised by the company's official transport.
  11. Daily cleaning of the premises of technologically important facilities with mass presence of people was provided, as well as disinfection of contact surfaces.
  12. At the entrances to the production facilities, thermometry was organised for the personnel of the RZD OJSC.
  13. A hotline has been organised to advise the company's employees on the issues related to the spread of coronavirus infection.
  14. The work of volunteer headquarters was organised.
  15. The safety of transportation of organised groups of children and mass passenger transportation in the summer period of 2020 was ensured.
  16. Regular testing of personnel for new coronavirus infection, as well as vaccinations were organised.

 

In 2020, the volume of passenger traffic on the Romanian Railways amounted to 51,504 million train-km (90.66 % as compared to the level of 2019). The volume of freight traffic in 2020 amounted to 21,006 million train-km (93.43 % as compared to the level of 2019).

During 2020, the “National Railways Company of Romania” CFR - S.A. continued to carry out several categories of projects aimed at modernizing existing railway lines, sections, stations, railway infrastructure facilities, respectively:

  1. Projects for the rehabilitation of railway lines, modernization of railway stations, modernization of electronic interlocking, security and ERTMS systems, rehabilitation of bridges, small bridges and tunnels, which were financed from the European Union Operational Programme for Transport 2007-2013 (POST 2007-2013), and currently funded from the state budget, namely:

- rehabilitation of the State Border-Kurtić-Simeria railway line, which is part of Pan-European Corridor IV, for the movement of passenger trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h and freight trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h, section 1: State border – Kurtić – Arad - 614 km. Status: the works have been 100 % completed, the final acceptance of the work will take place in 2021;

  1. Projects for the rehabilitation of railway lines, modernization of railway stations, modernization of electronic interlocking, security and ERTMS systems, rehabilitation of bridges, small bridges and tunnels, which were funded from the European Union’s “Large Infrastructure Operational Programme” (LIOP) 2014-2020 (POIM) / Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) 2014-2020, namely:

2.1) rehabilitation of the Brasov-Simeria railway line, which is part of the IV Pan-European Corridor, to ensure the movement of passenger trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h and freight trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h, section Koslaru – Simeria.

Implementation stage – during 2020:

- section Simeria – Vinca de Jos: works were accepted for 42.26 km;

- section Vinca de Jos – Koslaru (98.10 %);

- ERTMS Koslaru – Simeria (81.50 %);

2.2) rehabilitation of the Brasov-Simeria railway line, which is part of the IV Pan-European Corridor, to ensure the movement of passenger trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h and freight trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h, section Sighisoara – Koslaru.

Implementation stage – during 2020:

- works were accepted for 91.58 km of the railway line;

- ERTMS Sighisoara – Koslaru (94 %).

2.3) rehabilitation of the State Border-Kurtić-Simeria railway line, which is part of the IV Pan-European Corridor, for the movement of passenger trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h and freight trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h, section 2: 614th km – Gurasada and section 3: Gurasada – Simeria.

Implementation stage – during 2020:

- subsection 2а: 614th km – site Y Byrzava (50.30 %);

- subsection 2b: site Y Byrzava – site Y Ilteu (53.30 %);

- subsection 2c: site Y Ilteu – Gurasada (35.42 %);

- section 3: Gurasada – Simeria (37.81 %);

2.4) modernization of electromechanical interlocking equipment on the Sikuleni-Adjud section. Implementation stage – during 2020 (100 %);

2.5) a system for detecting overheated axle boxes and compressed brakes. Implementation stage – during 2020 (100 %);

2.6) work on the rehabilitation of bridges, small bridges and railway tunnels – Regional Railway Branch of Timisoara – Group 2 “Bridges, small bridges”. Implementation stage – during 2020 (92 %);

2.7) work for the rehabilitation of bridges, small bridges and railway tunnels - Regional Railway Branch of Iasi. Implementation stage – during 2020 (100 %);

2.8) work on the rehabilitation of bridges, small bridges and railway tunnels - Regional Railway Branch of Cluj. Implementation stage – during 2020 (95 %);

2.9) works for the rehabilitation of railway bridges - Regional Railway Branch of Bucharest. Implementation stage – during 2020 (99.50 %);

2.10) works for the rehabilitation of bridges, small bridges and railway tunnels – Craiova Regional Railway Branch. Implementation stage – during 2020 (93.60 %);

2.11) design and execution of works on the investment object “Modernization of the railway line Bucharest Nord – Henri Coand International Airport in Bucharest” – first stage: “Railway connection to Terminal T1, Henri Coand International Airport in Bucharest”.

Implementation stage - during 2020 (99.50 %);

2.12) rehabilitation of the Brasov-Simeria railway line, which is part of the Rhine-Danube Corridor, for the movement of passenger trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h and freight trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h, section: Brasov – Sighisoara, subsections: No. 1 Brasov – Apats and No. 3 Katz – Sighisoara. Implementation stage – during 2020 (5 %);

2.13) rehabilitation of the railway line Brasov – Simeria, which is part of the Rhine-Danube Corridor, for the movement of passenger trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h and freight trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h, section: Brasov – Sighisoara, subsection No. 2 Apaca – Katz. Status: the contract for the execution of the work was signed in 2020, the works are scheduled to start for 2021.

Being an administrator of the railway infrastructure, the National Railway Company CFR SA has taken the following measures to facilitate the border crossing:

- in 2020, negotiations were held with the railway infrastructure manager of Serbia in order to determine the final version of the “Regulation for the movement of trains between the border stations of Zimbolia – Kikinda”;

- between the border stations Kurtić – Lokoshaza, Episcopia Bihor – Biharkeresztes, Giurgiu Nord – Ruse and Vidin – Golenz, an information system was introduced for the allocation of free tracks upon request between the station attendants in Romania and neighboring countries (Hungary and Bulgaria), thus overcoming the language barrier;

- between the railway networks of CFR (Romania) and MAV (Hungary) the IMMCOM information application is used, and due to the good interaction between the railway infrastructure administrators and the railway carriers, the average idling time of freight trains at border stations has been reduced notably.

During the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus infection, the National Railway Company CFR – A.O. ensured the smooth operation of railway transport as a railway infrastructure administrator in compliance with the rules to prevent the spread of the virus.

In 2020, the National Society for Freight Railway Transport (SN “CFR Marfa” SA) transported 14.5 million tons of goods, including those in domestic traffic - 13.5 million tons (77.85 % against 2019), export - 615.2 thousand tons (80.44 % against 2019), import - 409.5 thousand tons (63.72 % against 2019), transit - transportation was not carried out.

During 2020 the “CFR Marfa” SA completed the modernization of 14 locomotives and began to modernize another 27 locomotives.

In 2020, the “Agreement on the exchange and use of freight wagons” was signed between“ “CFR Marfa” SA and BDZ Cargo EOOD.

Measures taken to improve the freight traffic:

- better relashionship with clients, knowledge of services and the level of quality in relation to the cost of services;

- solutions searched to reduce the transport costs;

- improvement of technical characteristics at the level requested by clients in accordance with the contracts;

- optimization of the allocation of resources under contracts that provide significant volumes and revenues;

- provision of logistics resources for the development of transport services;

- search for new transport opportunities for unused wagons;

- search for some solutions to provide wagons with a high level of demand and maintain transportation by providing the required number of wagons;

- optimization of wagons running empty;

- focusing services on the most profitable transport directions.

During 2020 the “CFR Marfa” SA transported 5130 wagons using the CIM/SMGS consignment note, and the total freight volume amounted to approximately 224,821 tons, of which:

1) the goods dispatched from Romania, destined for states applying SMGS (export): 3160 wagons, with a total of 122,367 tons of goods, of which:

- destination to the Republic of Moldova: 2776 wagons/120,805 tons;

- with destination in Ukraine: 384 wagons/1562 tons;

2) the goods dispatched from the states applying SMGS with a destination in Romania (import): 1970 wagons, with the amount of 102,454 tons of goods, of which:

- 1057 wagons/50,348 tons from Ukraine;

- 678 wagons/39,294 tons from the Republic of Moldova;

- 111 wagons/5639 tons from the Russian Federation;

- 124 wagons/7173 tons from the Republic of Belarus.

Since March 2020, the entire labour market has been affected by the consequences of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The effects of the COVID-19 crisis became more tangible in the first months of the pandemic, as railway transport was affected by the closure or downsizing of some major manufacturers (such as the production of machinery and petroleum products), reduced consumption of raw materials and energy, and a drop in local and international traffic.

The restrictions imposed by the authorities, together with the decrease in the activities in the past months, have necessitated a number of measures to be taken, for example:

- reduction of the working week from 5 days to 4;

- organisation of remote work from home, in the case of certain departments, ensuring the continuity of the activities of CFR Marfa SA;

- making earlier the start and postponing the end of the working day, in order to avoid crowds and to ensure save distancing;

- provision of protective masks and disinfectants.

In addition to that, railway freight operators are to ensure the safety of rolling stock movement on the railway network, so that the transportation by rail is carried out without any danger to people, goods which were submitted for transportation, rolling stock, infrastructure, and the environment.

With the reopening of the railway’s industrial clients, steps have been taken to restore normal work schedules so as to provide fast and quality railway freight services.

At the same time, additional measures were taken to remove restrictions imposed on train personnel at the borders (especially with Serbia), which were quickly regulated by legislative documents.

Besides, the organisational structure was changed to match the current situation in the railway freight market.

The activities began to acquire positive dynamics: the estimates show that the freight railway traffic could be possibly restored to the level comparable to the previous years.

Taking into account the strategic role of CFR Marfa SA as a national carrier, the company did not cease its activities even during the state of emergency.

The volume of 2020 railway passenger traffic by the National Society of Railway Passenger Transport “CFR Călători SA” amounted to: 40.8 million passengers (71.6 % against 2019, 56.9 million passengers), 3.3 billion passenger-kilometers (62.5 % against 2019, 5,2 billion pass-km), in international traffic - 77.7 thousand passengers (38 % against 2019, 204 thousand passengers).

During 2020, more than 400 coaches belonging to CFR Călători SA were repaired and modernized at the company’s own expense at rolling stock repair plants in Romania.

The priorities of CFR Călători SA include the mobility of citizens, ensuring interregional/international relations, as well as the protection and safety of passengers and company’s personnel.

On the trains of CFR Călători SA a protective mask is obligatory, disposable gloves are recommended, and passengers are advised to keep their distance when boarding the train. The measures for cleaning and disinfecting trains, established and applied during the state of emergency, still remain in place up to now.

Passengers were advised to purchase tickets online and in advance, pay by credit card or by phone in order to avoid the use of cash at points of sale, whenever possible, and to maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters between themselves at ticket offices/information desks.

In order to support the passengers CFR Călători SA continuously analyzes the public needs, the degree of train employment, adapting on the permanent basis the formation of their trains to ensure the safety of passengers and company’s personnel, equipped with a set of disinfecting materials when the train departs.

The Slovak Railway transported 46.7 million passengers in 2020 (–40 % against 2019), including 1.6 million passengers in international traffic (–67 % against 2019).

ZSSK Cargo transported 26.2 million tons of goods in 2020 (29.9 million tons in 2019), including: international traffic - 22.9 million tons, domestic traffic - 3.2 million tons.

As part of the modernization of infrastructure facilities, the following works were carried out:

- Pezinok station and Ivanka pri Dunaji station – parking places for cars and bicycles;

- ZSR, modernization of the Puchov – Zhilina line up to a speed of 160 km/h, stage I (expected completion - 12/2021);

- modernization of the Zilina - Kosice railway line, section of the Liptovsky Mikulas – Poprad Tatry (excluded) line, stage 1 (Poprad – Lucivna) (expected completion - 8/2022);

- ZSR, modernization of the railway line Devinska Nova Ves – state border of the Slovak Republic / Czech Republic (section Devinska Nova Ves (excluded) – Malacky and Kuty (excluded) - state border of SR/CR). The construction will be performed in yellow FIDIC (Design and Build). The agreement entered into force on 10 September, 2020. Estimated completion - 11/2023;

- “ZSR, completion of the construction of Zilina-Teplicka marshalling yard and the adjacent railway infrastructure junction in Zilina” (expected completion - 12/2024).

As part of the rolling stock renewal plan for 2020, work was carried out to re-equip freight wagons with LL blocks (quiet wagons). Currently, within the framework of this project, 1500 wagons have been re-equipped (the plan is 2050 wagons by the end of 2021).

Alongside with that, work was continued in 2020 to equip 5000 freight wagons with GPS sensors. As of 2020, 4500 wagons were equipped with GPS sensors.

In 2020, work was carried out to modernize the traction rolling stock of the 210 series (shunting electric locomotives) and 363 series (multi-system electric locomotives). Since December 2020, new models of EJ 660 and 661 (electromotive coaches) have entered service.

As part of the programme for the development of fast-speed and high-speed network for passenger traffic, the following works have been completed:

- ZSR, modernization of the railway track at the state border of the Czech Republic / Slovak Republic – Kuty – Devinska Nova Ves;

- ZSR, modernization of the track on the Pukhov – Zilina line for speeds up to 160 km/h – Stage I, optimization (section Puchov – Povazska Tepla);

- ZSR, completion of the construction of Zilina-Teplicka marshalling yard and the adjacent railway infrastructure junction in Zilina;

- ZSR, modernization of the track on the Liptovsky Mikulas – Poprad-Tatry section of the Zilina – Kosice line - Stage I (Lucivna – Poprad-Tatry section);

- ZSR, the new railway line Nitra – Trnovce nad Vagom.

In 2020, ZSSK Cargo continued to implement its activities which began in 2019, by:

- introducing the use of an electronic consignment note in domestic and international traffic (electronic filing is available for all modes);

- introducing the confirmation of the transfer of liability between carriers when taking responsibility for a wagon at the place of delivery and improving monitoring of the movement of wagons in the EU railway network;

- managing the volume of railway infrastructure through electronic communications channels between the infrastructure manager and the carrier company through processes such as Route Inquiry, Train Composition and Train Movement;

- including new versions for the train and cargo order (extended portfolio of information).

As part of the activities to ensure the smooth operation of railway transport in the context of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic, Methodological Guidelines of the Director General are issued on a regular basis. The following directions are comprehensively presented in the guidelines:

- working hours and working conditions for railway personnel;

- obstacle to work from the part of the employer;

- the right to nutrition;

- new payroll processing system in SAP HR;

- work organisation;

- general information - principles of preventing the spread of the infections transferred by air in the workplace or at home;

- contacts for regional public health offices;

- final tasks, responsibilities and deadlines.

As part of the organisation of work in the workplace, alternative shifts, alternative shifts with low productivity or standard shifts with a limited number of jobs due to local conditions have been introduced. In workplaces with a uniform work schedule, the number of employees was minimized in order to provide the necessary work for a specific workplace. The employees were provided with protective and disinfecting equipment. Some employees were allowed to work remotely from home.

Hygiene measures were regularly carried out at the stations (increased periodicity of cleaning and disinfection of rolling stock/passenger coaches). Depending on the current epidemiological situation, the schedule and conditions of travel by rail were promptly updated.

In 2020, the Railways of Uzbekistan carried 6278.974 thousand passengers (26.9 % to the level of 2019), including in direct traffic - 215,162 thousand passengers (24.3 % to the level of 2019).

The passenger turnover amounted to 1794.9 million passenger- km (40.9 % to the level of 2019).

The volume of freight traffic in containers amounted to: import – 2,406,840 tons, export – 769,749 tons, transit – 136,487 tons.

In 2020, the new container routes were organised as follows: Sergeli – Karakalpakstan (exp.) – Aktau port (transshipment exp.) – Beyuk-Kasik (exp.) – Akhalkalaki (exp., Georgia), further to Turkey, as well as Sergeli – Khojadavlet (exp.) – Turkmenbashi-I Ferry – Beyuk-Kasik (exp.) - Akhalkalaki (exp., Georgia) further to Turkey.

As part of the infrastructure modernization programme for 2020, the Andijan – Savay – Khanabad railway section was modernized with the organisation of suburban train traffic and the rehabilitation of 180 km of railway tracks.

In addition to that, since last year, logistics centers have been under construction in the industrial zone of Andijan, Bukhara. The construction and reconstruction was completed of closed-type customs warehouses at the logistics centers of Bukhara, Andijan, Ulugbek, as well as open-type warehouses at the Jizzak, Raustan, Termez, Urgench logistics centers of Uztemiryulcontainer JSC.

In 2020, the Namangan railway station (Namangan region) was reconstructed and put into operation.

Within the framework of the programme for the acquisition of new rolling stock and modernization of the existing rolling stock, the following vehicles were procured in 2020:

- 5 electric locomotives from the Novocherkasski locomotive building plant (Russian Federation);

- 4 electric locomotives of the Chinese manufacturing (Dalian, China).

2133 freight wagons were restored with service life extended, modernized and re-equipped.

In 2020, 399 new wagons were produced and 2164 old wagons were modernized.

A total of 12 passenger coaches were procured, of which: MO - 2 coaches, CMO - 9 coaches, CMK - 1 coach.

In addition, it is planned to purchase 26 electric locomotives for freight traffic and 7 – for passenger service.

As part of the “Project for the electrification and organisation of the movement of suburban trains on the section Andijan – Savai – Khanabad”, in 2020 a new railway line with a length of 10.8 km was built between the Savai and Khanabad stations.

As part of the work to ensure the uninterrupted operation of railway transport in the context of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic, sanitary, hygienic and preventive measures have been taken throughout Uzbekistan Temir Yullari JSC, in particular: at interstate border crossing stations (Ok-Kuprik, Bekabad, Khanabad, Savay, Uchkurgan, Suvonobod, Khojidavlet, Talimarjan (crossing loop-154), Naimankul, Karakalpakstan, Surkhonobod, Kuvasay, Kudukli, Galaba, Amuzang, crossing loop-449, Pitnyak).

The border crossing process is organised in accordance with the technological procedure adopted for the interstate border crossing stations.

On the Railways of Ukraine, the passenger turnover amounted to 10,673.7 million pass-km in 2020, which is 37.6 % of the level of 2019 (28,356.1 million pass-km), which is distributed according to the type of traffic as follows:

- the long-distance traffic amounted to 8319.3 million pass-km, which is 64.4 % less than in 2019 (23,343.1 million pass-km);

- international traffic was 124.9 million pass-km, which is 88.2 % less than in 2019 (1057.1 million pass-km);

- domestic traffic amounted to 8194.4 million pass-km, which is 63.2 % less than in 2019 (22,286.0 million pass-km);

- in suburban traffic the passenger turnover amounted to 2354.4 million pass-km, which is 53.0 % less than in 2019 (5013.0 million pass-km).

To improve the quality of passenger service, the Ukrzaliznytsia JSC initiated and implemented a simplified procedure for passing border and customs formalities for a number of trains, which made it possible to reduce the travel time by 30-110 minutes thus having initiated a comfortable travel environment.

One of the specific steps in this direction was the implementation of the experiment of carrying out border and customs control in the international fast-speed trains “Intercity+” No. 705/706 and No. 715/716 on the route Kiev – Przemysl directly en route on the Lvov – Mostiska-II section in both directions. This procedure made it possible to shorten the travel time and create more convenient conditions for the travel of passengers in international traffic between Ukraine and the Republic of Poland.

To increase the number of trains on the specified route and the possibility of carrying out control operations directly at the control point, in accordance with the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, a control point has been opened at the Lvov station since December 2019.

Alongside with that, the “Ukrzaliznytsia” JSC considered the possibility of carrying out control procedures along the route of train No. 33/34 Mukachevo – Budapest on the Mukachevo-Chop section. In addition to that, in order to reduce the burden at the border checkpoints, the issue of introducing control procedures directly at control checkpoints was considered.

For several years, the control point Kiev has been carrying out border and customs procedures for passenger trains: No. 85/86 Kiev - Minsk; since September 2018 - control procedures for train No. 31/32 Kiev – Minsk – Vilnius – Riga; since April 2019, a similar procedure has been applying to train No. 67/68 Kiev – Warsaw.

Under quarantine conditions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, passenger transportation by rail in 2020 was carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 17 June 2020 No. 500 “On amending certain acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine” and the Resolution of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine dated 30 May 2020 No. 31 (as amended by the Resolution of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine on 3 July 2020 No. 39) “On the approval of the temporary recommendations for taking anti-epidemic measures in the organisation of railway traffic during the quarantine period due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)”.

In pursuance of the above regulatory documents, the following measures have been introduced in the passenger sector:

  1. General cleaning and disinfection of both office and public premises is carried out.
  2. In order to maintain safe distance between passengers in the premises of railway stations, boundary lines were drawn on the floor atnear the windows of ticket offices, station attendants, etc.
  3. Announcements are made over the speakerphone about the need to maintain safe distance, create personal space in order to avoid pandemonium.
  4. Work has been organised to minimize crowding, including in waiting rooms, in order to avoid crowds and, depending on local conditions, delimit the flow of passengers at the entrance/exit, to/from the premises, when boarding trains/disembarking from trains.
  5. The number of passengers carried does not exceed the number of seats provided for by the technical characteristics of the coach.
  6. The employees who have direct contact with passengers are provided with personal protective equipment (respirator or protective mask). The employees of railway transport without personal protective equipment are not allowed to work.
  7. Temperature screening of passengers when boarding the coaches and control if passengers during boarding and along the entire route stay in protective masks is regularly performed.
  8. The alcohol antiseptics are provided in passenger coaches for disinfecting the passengers’ hands.
  9. The train crews are provided with pocket antiseptic dispensers.
  10. Each passenger train is provided with liquid soap in the required quantity.
  11. Before the start of the work shift, temperature screening is carried out for all employees of the passenger facility. Workers who have a body temperature of more than 37.2 °C or signs of respiratory diseases are not allowed to work.
  12. At the points of formation and turnover of trains, after each trip, disinfection treatment of passenger coaches (all surfaces of the cabin) is organised.
  13. During the trip, every hour, surfaces, places of passenger hand contact (door handles, seats, folding tables, sinks, etc.) are disinfected with alcohol-based disinfectants with a minimum exposure time according to the instructions.
  14. The trains are provided with dedicated packages (containers) for collecting used personal protective equipment for their subsequent disposal/recycling.
  15. The coaches contain visual information for passengers in respect to the measures for individual prevention of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

The volume of freight traffic by rail amounted to 305.5 million tons of goods in Ukraine in 2020, which is 7.5 million tons or 2.4 % less than in 2019.

The volume of freight traffic in import segment decreased (–6.6 million tons or –15.4 %) to 36.5 million tons, in export direction (–2.8 million tons or –2.5 %) to 113 million tons and in transit traffic (–1.8 million tons or –12.8 %) to 12.5 million tons. Domestic traffic increased (+3.9 million tons, or + 2.8 %) to 143.4 million tons.

In 2020, international container trains and combined transport trains ran through the territory of Ukraine on the following routes:

- Lithuania (Draugiste-Port – Kena) – Belarus (Gudogay – Slovechno) – Ukraine (Berezhest – Odessa/Chernomorsk/Paromnaya/Mogilyev-Podolskiy) – Georgia (Poti/Batumi – Gardabani) – Azerbaijan (Beyuk-Kasik – Alyat)/Bulgaria (Varna – Sofia)/Moldova (Valchinets – Giurgiulesti/Etulia/Ungheni) – Ukraine (Fricatsey/Reni – Reni Port)/Romania (Iasi) – train ‘Viking’;

- Estonia (Tallinn – Valga) – Latvia (Lugazi – Indra) – Belarus (Bigosovo – Slovechno) – Ukraine (Berezhest – Chernomorsk/Paromnaya/Odessa-Port/Mogilyev-Podolsky) – Moldova (Valchinets – Giurgiulesti/Etulia/Ungheni) – Ukraine (Fricatsey/Reni – Reni-Port) – train ‘Zubr’;

- China – Kazakhstan (Dostyk/Altynkol - Iletsk) – Russian Federation (Kanisay – Suzemka) – Ukraine (Zernovo – Chop/Izov/Batevo) – Slovakia/Poland/Hungary;

– China – Kazakhstan (Dostyk/Altynkol – Elimai/Iletsk) – Russian Federation (Kartaly/Kanisay – Krasnoye) – Belarus (Osinovka – Goryn) – Ukraine (Udritsk – Izov) – Poland;

- China – Mongolia – Russian Federation (Naushki – Suzemka) – Ukraine (Zernovo – Kiev-Liski);

- China – Mongolia – Russia (Naushki – Suzemka) – Ukraine (Zernovo – Batevo) – Hungary;

- Lithuania (Draugiste-Port – Kena) – Belarus (Gudogai – Slovechno) – Ukraine (Berezhest – Brovary/Odessa-Port);

- Belarus (Goryn/Gantsevichi/Luninets/Zhitkovichi – Goryn) – Ukraine (Udritsk – Vadul Siret) – Romania;

- Russian Federation (Cherepovets-II/Koshty – Suzemka) – Ukraine (Zernovo – Izov) – Poland (Hrubieszow – Zamosc);

- Ukraine (Nizhnedneprovsk-Uzel – Izov) – Poland (Hrubieszow – Slawkow).

An important component for simplifying international trade and logistics procedures in Ukraine is the improvement of border crossing procedures. During 2020, the Ukrzaliznytsia JSC continued working towards implementation and organisation of information exchange with the State Customs Service under the Agreement on Information Cooperation between the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Railways Joint Stock Company, dated 8 October 2019.

The works are implemented in the following areas:

- simplification and reduction of processing time at border transfer stations for import and transit goods, namely, the provision of the train transfer sheet to the customs authorities in electronic form before the arrival of the train;

- organisation of electronic document circulation for the implementation of the function of delivery of goods to the customs office of destination (to the destination station) with the receipt of an electronic message from the customs authorities about the customs clearance for the goods, serving also as a permit when handed over to the consignee;

- providing the carrier with information about the completed customs declarations for empty wagons belonging to the residents outside Ukraine, imported to enter to the territory of Ukraine as commercial vehicles;

- formation and submission to the customs authorities of Ukraine of the “General Declaration of Arrival” for the possibility of assessing the risks by customs authorities when importing goods into the customs territory of Ukraine.

In 2020, the Ukrzaliznytsia JSC performed the renewal of 6669 vehicles of rolling stock for a total amount of UAH 3296.57 million within the framework of the “Programme (forecast) of rolling stock renewal for

the “Programme (forecast) of rolling stock renewal for the period up to 2021”, approved by the decision of the Management Board of the Company as of 29 November 2016, namely:

- procurement of rolling stock – 28 passenger coaches for the amount of UAH 653.00 million;

- overhaul and modernization of rolling stock – 641 vehicles in the amount of UAH 2643.57 million (including 94 locomotives worth UAH 1187.65 million, 6501 freight wagons worth UAH 1025.15 million, 13 passenger coaches worth UAH 215.47 million, 33 sections of electric multiple units worth UAH 215.53 million).

In order to furnish and equip additionally the railway checkpoints (control points) on the state border of Ukraine works were performed in the amount of UAH 12.02 million in 2020. This includes the checkpoints on the border with the countries of the European Union – in the amount of UAH 8.7 million, involving the modernization of video surveillance systems, strengthening of external lightening systems, operating repairs of premises and buildings, track maintenance works and others.

On the Czech Railways, the volumes of railway freight traffic for the whole year of 2020 showed a decrease in freight services - 59,017 million tons, which is about 8 % less than the level of 2019, and freight turnover - by about 6 %. The fourth quarter even witnessed an increase in the volume of transported goods in tons by 3 %, and the turnover in t-km - by 4 %.

The pandemic had a significant impact on passenger transportation in 2020. In connection with the restrictions introduced in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, a drop in population mobility in 2020, there was a significant decrease in the volume of passenger traffic: by more than 30 % of the total number of passengers transported during the same period in 2019, and by about 40 % in terms of pass-km. The data for the second and fourth quarters show an even more significant drop: during these periods, the number of passengers carried decreased by about half, and the passenger turnover per pass-km decreased even by 60 %.

As part of the modernization of railway corridor IV, which runs from the state border with Austria through Ceske Budejovice – Tabor – Prague – Usti nad Labem – Decin to the state border with Germany, the works were continued in 2020 on the Sudomerice – Votice line (with the planned completion in 2021 of the Tabor – Prague section) and on the Nemanice – Shevetin line (1st stage of construction), as well as the implementation of the 2nd stage of the ETCS system implementation with the planned completion by the end of 2020 on the Ceske Budejovice – Tabor section.

In 2020, the implementation of the project “Optimization of the railway section Prague – Hostivar – Prague-Central., 2nd stage” was continued with the planned completion in 2021. Thanks to this, the first four-track line on the CD network will be created.

As part of the improvement of the radio communication system over the past period, the implementation of the digital GSM-R standard was completed on the lines Ústí nad Orlicí – Lichkov, Plzen – Ceske Budejovice, České Velenice – České Budějovice – Horní Dvořiště and Beroun – Plzen – Cheb. The introduction of the European Train Control System (ETCS) is in progress. The ETCS system was put into trial operation on the lines of corridor No. 1 in the section Kolin – Břeclav – state border with Austria/Slovakia, and the introduction of the ETCS system was completed in the section Petrovice u Karvine – Ostrava – Přerov – Břeclav.

Investment projects for the development of railway infrastructure for suburban traffic and the introduction of integrated transport systems continued.

In the field of modernization and development of railway infrastructure, the implementation of the following priority investment projects continued in 2020:

- modernization of transit railway corridors,

- modernization of railway junctions,

- modernization of other lines included in the European railway system/network,

- ensuring the interoperability of railway lines,

- development of suburban transport and integrated transport systems,

- repair and modernization of railway stations,

- construction of high-speed lines.

The modernization of transit railway corridors (OSJD corridors Nos. 4 and 6, passing through the territory of the Czech Republic, mainly coincide with the Trans-European corridors) is aimed at a qualitative improvement in the railway transport operation in the Czech Republic and a significant reduction in travel time on the important transport routes, especially such as Prague – Ostrava and Prague – Brno. The completed modernization of the Trans-European Corridor I on the route Brzeclav – Brno – Ceska Trebova – Prague – Decin and Corridor II on the route Breclav – Přerov – Ostrava – Petrovice u Karvinne was followed by the modernization of corridors III and IV.

In 2020, the reconstruction of the last eight busiest sections of the corridors was continued and will continue to be carried out in the coming years in order to prevent a decrease in section speed, create interoperability parameters and increase the reliability and safety of traffic. The first sections on which the reconstruction began were the sections Velim - Porzycany and Detmarovice - Petrovice u Karvine.

The works were completed at the Praha-Hostivar station and the construction works were continued within the section of Praha-Hostivar – Prague-Vrsovice, which should ensure the contiguity of corridor IV to the Prague junction. The reconstruction of the Negrelli viaduct was completed and the modernization works at the Brno hl.n. station were completed, the reconstruction of the Plzeň and Cheb junctions continued, and the implementation of the 2nd stage of the project for the reconstruction of the Prerov junction continued. The modernization of the Pardubice junction has begun and the preparatory work is underway for the construction of the section Prague Main Station (Praha hl.n.) – Prague Smichov (Praha Smíchov), which will connect corridor III with the Prague junction.

In 2020, the phased reconstruction and modernization of the railway line Kolin – Havlíčkův Brod – Křižanov – Brno was continued, with the works on some sections already completed. The modernization of the line section Lysa nad Labem – Čelakovice – Prague Vysočany (Praha Vysočany) and the implementation of an investment project aimed at increasing the traffic speeds between Valašské Meziříčí – Hustopeče nad Bečvou was continued. Preparations were under way for the modernization of the tracks on the sections Kolin – Nymburk – Všetaty – Usti nad Labem – Decin and Plzen – Domažlice, as well as for laying new tracks on the sections Usti nad Labem – Most – Cheb and Ceske Budejovice – Plzen.

During 2020, the preparation of feasibility studies for the organisation of fast-speed and high-speed traffic on the sections Prague – Dresden, Prague – Brno – Breclav and Brno – Přerov – Ostrava was gradually completed. In cooperation with the Polish side, a developer was selected basing on the results of an open tender to prepare a feasibility study for organising high-speed traffic on the route from Prague through Hradec Kralove (Czeck Republic) to Wroclaw (Poland).

The Estonian Railway transported 11.534 million tons of goods in 2020, which is 12.7 % less than in 2019. In international traffic, 10.190 million tons of goods were carried (–8.3 % against 2019).

In 2020, 6.002 million passengers were transported, which is 28.4 % less as compared to the level of 2019, with 265.420 million passenger-kilometers reached (–32.2 % against 2019). In the direct international traffic (passengers are counted according to the date of sale of travel documents) 7760 passengers were transported, which is 93 % less than in 2019.

In 2020, 11 freight wagons were purchased becoming part of property of legal entities.

One of the strategic goals of the Estonian National Railway Company Eesti Raudtee is to increase the speed of passenger trains movement in the directions of Tartu and Narva. For this purpose, a major overhaul repair of the track was carried out within the sections Tapa – Narva and Tapa – Tartu. The construction works have begun for straightening the curved sections and building a new bridge over the Emajõgi River.

The main investment activities of Eesti Raudtee were focused on the automation of traffic control processes, modernization of safety systems, adding to the capacity of railway, increasing the speed of train movement, as well as on the electrification.

As part of the work to ensure the smooth operation of railway transport in the context of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection pandemic, the following measures were taken during 2020:

- personal protective equipment was distributed among its employees to prevent the spread of the virus;

- the majority of office employees were transferred to remote work from home;

- meetings were held on virtual platforms;

- daily reviews of the situation in the country and within the company were prepared.

The OSJD activities for the development, approval, improvement and updating of legal, regulatory and technical documents ensure the creation and functioning of a unified legal framework in international railway traffic between the OSJD member countries, which provides conditions for implementing the tasks facing the OSJD for the development of international railway transport, including the contrailer and combined one, in communication between Europe and Asia and for increasing the competitiveness and attractiveness of railway transport, even irrespectively of the conditions constantly changing throughout the world.