Children’s railway: debris on railroad?

The Uzhhorod children’s railway has not been working since 2009.  Back then, the management of the railway concluded that the track was unprofitable. That is why they stopped funding and supporting it. The media and powerful offices began to discuss the future of the railway. Thre years later, local authorities agreed to be responsible for the remains of the railroad. The representatives of the state giant corporation ‘Ukrzaliznytsia’ were glad to get rid of the burden. Then, silence followed.

This year, there was a discussion about the restoration of one of the favourite places of the kids of Uzhhorod again. It seemed as if neither the workers of the railroad, nor the government was against it. However, it was difficult to agree. All the documents sent to the Ministry of Transport are outdated now. They concerned the transfer of the children’s railway to Uzhhorod. But there is no such ministry anymore. According to the calculations of the workers of the railroad, the cost of the restorarion of the railway has multiplied several times.

"Our calculations are based on official data. Thus, according to the Kharkiv carbuilding factory, the restoration of two cars will cost 4.7 million UAH, the reparation of the track will be 200 thousand UAH. The overall restoration will cost over 7 million UAH. Traffic lights and buildings need to be repaired, the territory must be refined. You see, there’s a procedure how to present such objects. Once the direction of the "Ukrzaliznytsia" decides upon the transfer of the children’s railway, then the city will be the owner," – informed us Ihor Volskyi, chief ingeneer of the Uzhhorod direction of railroad transfers.

Activists have visited the remains. They say that the numbers, to say the least, are slightly inflated. Denis Dobra has been working with the restoration of the children’s railroads of Borzhava and Uzhhorod for years. He is assured that the reason of the decay of the railroad is simple. Someone wants to bring it to "the end of its rope". They want to make use of the debris and sell the land.

"There is no trouble to restore the cars. Their main part is their base, which is in good condition in this case. To renowate the box will cost around 100 thousand. To say that it will cost above 4 million UAH is inadequate. It seems to me that by announcing so high prices the "Ukrzaliznytsia" consciously leads such objects to bankruptcy. In such way, it is easier to sell them as metal waste rather than renowate, – assures us Denis Dobra activist. – For instance, there is a renowned locomotive aged 70 in Koshitse. The work was divided. A part of it was done by activists, the other that required special knowledge – by specialists. Today, we also have volunteers who can calculate the cost of the restoration up to a hryvnia. And you can believe me, the total cost of 4 million UAH is unrealistic."

One would think that the situation is very clear. The railroad workers are ready to get rid off the burden, the government has been ready for it three years ago. However, they are beginning to step back. Ishtvan Tsap, the First Deputy Mayor of Uzhhorod says that the predecessors’ decision was only demonstrative. Nobody would invest money in such unprofitable railroad. However, he did not forget to mention about the bureaucratic nuances as well, because the railroad workers have not transfered the object to the city.

Ishtvan Tsap, the First Deputy Mayor of Uzhhorod says that the city is willing to take the children’s railroad but everything should be thought over. "We do not refuse the railroad under any circumstances. But we tried to narrow the question. We must clearly analyse the documents, the statistics and then make a decision. If we look for equivalents, then we can find some very serious objects and transports for 7-8 million UAH. That is why such numbers are unbelivable for the restoration of two cars. However, there is no need to be a specialist to understand that a nice bit of money will be required for the renowation of the unprofitable railroad."

Everyone is assured that the children’s railroad will get a second life soon. This "soon" has been lasting for the seventh year now, but the cars are still there. A new stage of document exchange will start next Monday. It is intended to find the owner of the attraction that has been successful once. Though nobody knows how much time this will take.


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