Home Open Account Help 277 users online

European Railroad Discussion > Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?


Date: 03/14/21 15:21
Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: gobbl3gook

I came across this image while looking for something else.  
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:First_Hungarian-Galician_Railway_(Nove_Misto,_Staryi_Sambir_Raion).jpg

Looks like it's a Russian Gauge rail line, that has recently been fitted with dual gauge ties, to add a set of European gauge tracks.  

I can't seem to find a link to a wikipedia page that this photo is used on.  

Staryi Sambir is along the Polish border in western Ukraine, in the northern foothills of the Carpathians.  On a secondary mainline that runs south from Lviv (on the Ukrainian plains to the north) to the Hungarian border in the south (on the Hungarian plains).  I rode this line in 2016, and it is electrified.  The line in the photo is not electrified.   

I suspect that before WWI, this part of western Ukraine was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.  So the construction of this rail line would have been European gauge.  Then, converted to Russian gauge at some point after the formation of the Soviet Union.  

Anyway, an interesting photo, with likely an interesting story, but I don't know what it is.  

Curious if anyone can find if there is a story page on wikipedia that this photo is associated with, or if its just an interesting photo someone posted to the Staryi Sambir region... 

Ted in OR



Date: 03/14/21 19:41
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: ORNHOO




Date: 03/15/21 08:52
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: DWDebs/2472

Russian 5' 0" gauge is only 3-1/2" wider than European (and North American) standard gauge 4' 8-1/2". That is too small a difference to use three rails for dual gauge. The rail bases would overlap. That is why the new dual-gauge railway ties have attachment pads for four - not three - rails.

- Doug Debs



Date: 03/15/21 09:19
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: pennengineer

I did a little bit of searching on German Wikipedia and after looking at several nonelectrified lines in the Carpathians came across this one, which would appear to be the one in your photograph: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahnstrecke_Lwiw%E2%80%93Sambir%E2%80%93Tschop

Based on the information on that page, the line was originally built by the Hungarians to standard gauge (1435 mm), but after occupation by Soviet forces was converted to broad gauge, which at that time was still officially 5 ft or 1524 mm (this was rounded down around 1970 to 1520 mm, although Finland still uses 1524 mm and Estonia has reverted to it as well; 1520 mm and 1524 mm are operationall compatible). Once German forces retook the occupied territories, they reverted the gauge on all (partially) regauged lines to 1435 mm. After the conclusion of World War II the lines were converted in their entirety to 1524.

So basically, it went back and forth: standard to broad to standard to broad gauge.



Date: 03/15/21 10:01
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: GettingShort

I believe doc7austin has a YoyTube video of the route.
https://youtu.be/4Sn-cUfEXoc



Date: 03/15/21 11:28
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: Lackawanna484

I believe this area was Austro-Hungarian Carpathia before 1918.

You could take trains from Lvov and parts of what is now Belarus all the way to Fiume or Trieste on the Adriatic and not the leave the Empire



Date: 03/16/21 01:28
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: 86235

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe this area was Austro-Hungarian Carpathia
> before 1918.
>
> You could take trains from Lvov and parts of what
> is now Belarus all the way to Fiume or Trieste on
> the Adriatic and not the leave the Empire

It was the province of Galicia in Austria-Hungary the capital of which was Lemberg, today's Lviv. 
 



Date: 03/16/21 19:16
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: krm152

DWDebs/2472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Russian 5' 0" gauge is only 3-1/2" wider than
> European (and North American) standard gauge 4'
> 8-1/2". That is too small a difference to use
> three rails for dual gauge. The rail bases would
> overlap. That is why the new dual-gauge railway
> ties have attachment pads for four - not three -
> rails.
>
> - Doug Debs

There was some three rail dual gauge, five-foot and standard, trackage around the interurban passenger terminal and freight station in Louisville, KY in the first half of the twentieth century. Primarily, this was street trackage. The last interurban operation in Louisville was the standard gauge line from Indianapolis that ceased operations in 1940. More detailed info, including a trackage map and photo, can be found in Pages 86 and 87 of Louisville Street Railways published in 2018. I realize this was not mainline trackage. However, it does show that three rail dual gauge, five-foot and standard, can be made to work at least in limited situations.
ALLEN



Date: 03/18/21 03:12
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: gobbl3gook

Hi All, 

Thanks for the replies!  

pennengineer -- I travelled on the route over Ushok Pass in 2016, it was electrified then.  I rode it from Staryi Sambir to Perechyn.  Maybe they've de-electrified it, but it seems unlikely -- even if they were completely rebuilding the line from the subgrade up, they would leave the old catenary in place, and add new poles, and replace it with minimal interruption to service.  But, maybe not...  
Photo boarding an EMU train at the Staryi Sambir station, about 50 kms south of Lviv.  2016.  

getting short -- Nice video link!  the line that the overnight trains take is about 50 km to the east, on Volovets Pass/Beskyd Tunnel.  Two tracks through the mountains and electrified, as can be seen from his nice view out the back door of the international car.    
Annotated map below, showing the two different lines through the Carpathians from the Hungarian border to Lviv (Poland is the country west of Lviv).  

Still leaved me curious.  Seems highly unlikely that they would just remove all the catenary.  But, there's no clear reason for any other line to be twin-gauged, and there's only these two passes that would be useful for getting from Hungary to Poland (Poland being the only destination country available, as Russia and Belarus use Russian gauge).  

Another possibility -- there is another rail border crossing to Poland to the west of Sambor.  Maybe it was deemed easier to upgrade a dormant line and border crossing, and link to the Euro Gauge railway 100 kms sooner, than it was to run the dual gauge line up to Lviv (and then west into Poland, if there isn't already a Euro gauge line from Lviv to Poland).  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galician_Transversal_Railway
map below showing where the nonelectrified segment might be.  
See also here on Open Railway map
https://www.openrailwaymap.org/?style=standard&lat=49.53724105313382&lon=23.157119750976562&zoom=10

Looking at the Open Railway map, this makes a lot of sense.  They can bypass Lviv and make a much shorter-distance route from the Hungarian Border to the Polish Border this way.  

And, assuming this is the case, there must be a high level of friendliness between Hungary, Poland and Ukraine that doesn't extend to Slovakia or the Czech Republic.  There are already plenty of mainline Euro gauge connections between Poland and Hungary, it's a lot of work to muck around with an entire mountain railway line, rebuild all the switches to handle the Euro Gauge, etc., when you already have a bunch of identical rail connections that happen to go through different countries.  

And, if this is the case, it's kind of exciting for Ukraine railways.  The Uschok Pass line was not busy at all, I only saw one freight train on my 7 or so hours along the line, and there's only a few local trains.  It will be good for the local economy to have a busier railway to maintain.  

Again, thanks for the info, particularly the link to German wikipedia. 
Ted in OR



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/18/21 03:38 by gobbl3gook.








Date: 03/18/21 03:42
Re: Euro gauge railway across the Carpathians in Ukraine?
Author: gobbl3gook

Open Railway Map also has an electrification display.  
https://www.openrailwaymap.org/?style=electrified&lat=49.240914053166065&lon=23.50799560546875&zoom=8
https://www.openrailwaymap.org/?style=electrified&lat=49.64962584299315&lon=23.082618713378906&zoom=11

So, yes, if they want to make a Euro Gauge line from Budapest to Poland via Ukraine, then there is the "L" shaped section of lines crossing the Polish border.  From Sambir (Cam6ip), Ukraine to Przemsyl, Poland, that is not electrified.  
 



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0587 seconds