Przemyl (PL)-Lviv (UA) without gauge change?

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farci

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I was intrigued by reports of a new service from the Polish city of Przemyśl to Ukraine as fas as Kiev which uses broad gauge stock thereby obviating the axle change at the border. It also offers on-train border control and competitive fares.

This Wikipedia entry is a bit confusing. Can anyone clarify?
 
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Shaw S Hunter

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This is a remnant of the COMECON era when a number of Russian gauge (originally 5ft/1524mm, nowadays normalised to 1520mm) lines were built beyond the Soviet border to facilitate "exports" to the Motherland. The best known was to Katowice in southern Poland with a similar line to Kosice in what is now eastern Slovakia, both of which were primarily for steel exports. There were also shorter cross-border links to facilitate other traffics while preventing any possibility of "decadent" western rolling stock penetrating the USSR. The best known is to Zahony in eastern Hungary. The Przemysl line is another such link.

Since the end of the Soviet empire various attempts have been made to provide passenger services over what were predominantly freight-only routes with little success. Proposals also surface from time to time for extension of Russian gauge much further west to places like Berlin and Vienna but these appear to be little more than pipe-dreams.

It's also worth noting that Russian gauge is the standard for railways in both Finland and Mongolia.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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The trend seems to be the other way now, with projects like Rail Baltica for a standard gauge line from Poland to Estonia through Lithuania and Latvia.
The first section across the Polish-Lithuanian border, which is mixed gauge, has just been commissioned.
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/...-view/view/rail-baltica-agreement-signed.html
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/infrastructure/single-view/view/rail-baltica-moves-ahead.html

Whether the project stays the course with all the pressures on the EU remains to be seen (and without UK input too, now).
Cross-border rail transport in Eastern Europe is in a poor state, compared to borderless roads.
 

Suraggu

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A few years ago UZ debuted refurbished Euro gauge sleeper stock with bogies fitted with gauge changing equipment (Similar to what the Talgo has) but I have no idea if the stock went into revenue earning service.
 

Gordon

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This is a remnant of the COMECON era when a number of Russian gauge (originally 5ft/1524mm, nowadays normalised to 1520mm) lines were built beyond the Soviet border to facilitate "exports" to the Motherland. The best known was to Katowice
I was curious about that too, the answer seems to be line 92 ( https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linia_kolejowa_nr_92 via Google translate ), a broad gauge line linking Przemyśl with the border, that runs alongside the standard gauge line.
If OpenStreetMaps is to be trusted, the line on the right of this Streetview image is broad gauge and the other one is standard: https://goo.gl/maps/iPYwbFXmDep
Correct.

I remember seeing this line when I travelled on a standard gauge PKP 'corridor' train in 1991. I was travelling to Zagorz, a last bastion of steam loco services with PKP Ty2 Kriegsloks, and there was a fascinating Warszawa - Zagorz corridor train that ran through what was then the USSR. It's the only time I ever saw 'live' KGB in action (there was one posted at each of the four coach entrance doors whilst the Polish train was in Soviet territory).

The train ran via Radom, Sandomierz, (crossing the Katowice steel line in the process) Przeworsk (in fact a veritable 'free' minor lines railtour!) to Przemyśl, then along the dual gauge section to the border at Medyka, then through the USSR (Ukraine SSR). The whole area was united as part of the Austrian empire until 1918 (hence the railway geography)


.
 
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