Ukrainian Railways' 'Iron People' receive food aid from British rail companies
- Thousands of food parcels have started being delivered to Ukrainian Railway employees and their families, paid for by donations from British rail companies.
- Industry body Rail Partners fundraised over £106,000 in donations from Britain's rail companies, equivalent to over 7,000 food parcels for Ukrainian rail workers on the front line.
- Rail Partners chief executive, Andy Bagnall, travelled to Kyiv along with Steve Montgomery, managing director of First Rail, and David Brown, managing director of Arriva Trains, as part of a global rail delegation to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges.
- To make further donations to support UZ staff, please visit: https://www.we-aid.org/en/initiatives/allrail-support-ukraine-rail-task-force/
- Photos: https://media.railpartners.co.uk/resources/f/ukraine-visit-january-2024
- Andy Bagnall blog: https://railpartners.co.uk/latest/blog/supporting-the-iron-people-of-the-ukrainian-railway/
- For more information on the WE-AID initiative, please visit https://www.we-aid.org/en/initiatives/allrail-support-ukraine-rail-task-force/
- For rail industry colleagues, if you want to find out more about how you can support colleagues at Ukrainian Railways (UZ), please contact
- To see a list of our corporate donors and find out more about the event, please visit our website: https://railpartners.co.uk/latest/events?view=article&id=176&catid=17
- Gold donors: Arriva and First Group
- Silver Donors: Transport UK and Govia
- Bronze Donors: Angel Trains, DRS, Freightliner, GBRailfreight, Oxera, Porterbrook, MTR, Serco and Trainline
Arriva: Since entering the UK rail market in 2000, Arriva now operates 282 trains and covers around 15% of the entire network, with services ranging from rural commuter lines to long-distance and inter-urban routes. It is the only owning group running services under all operating models in use in the UK.
Arriva’s companies include: Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Grand Central, Arriva Rail London
FirstGroup: is a leading private sector provider of public transport. It is the UK’s largest rail operator and one of its most experienced, running all types of passenger rail: long-distance, commuter, regional and sleeper services.
FirstGroup operates three Government contracted operations (Avanti West Coast, GWR, SWR) and two open access routes (Hull Trains and Lumo). Its businesses are vital to communities and the services it provides are critical to delivering wider economic, social and environmental goals.
FirstGroup’s companies include: Avanti West Coast, Great Western Railway (GWR), South Western Railway (SWR), Hull Trains, Lumo
Ukrainian Railways: Ukrainian Railways (UZ) is a state owned, joint stock company administering railway infrastructure and rail transport in Ukraine. Ukrainian Railways is the world’s sixth largest rail passenger transporter and world’s seventh largest freight transporter. Since the start of the conflict on 24 February 2022, over 6,000km of railway tracks have been damaged and become non-operational in Ukraine and hundreds of objects of railway infrastructure have been damaged.
UZ employs a workforce of 220,000, of which 573 have sadly lost their lives, and thousands have been injured. The Ukrainian Railways' contribution to the war effort should not be underestimated. Since the beginning of the conflict they have:
- transported over 4 million people to safety – 1 million of these being children
- within 8 days established a hospital train to transport the injured, sick and medical professionals
- rebuilt the bridge at Irpin, a strategic suburb west of Kyiv, in 29 days – a task which would normally take months
- enabled over 200 delegations of world leaders and diplomats to travel into Ukraine as well as transporting President Zelensky
- initiated the Children’s Railway initiative to engage children in the railway so that their association isn’t just one of evacuation and war, but to demonstrate the potential of rail for adventure and fun. They have an ambition to become the most child friendly railway in the world
- have been critical in the movement of military personnel and materials as well as civilian freight traffic such as grain exports