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Ukraine’s alternative to Hyundai

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July 6, 2012, 12:21 a.m. | Business — by Olga Rudenko

One of two new high-speed trains being constructed in a workshop at Kryukiv Rail Car in Kremenchuk, Ukraine.
© Kostyantyn Chernichkin

Olga Rudenko

Ukraine could make high-speed trains for one-third less than the ones it purchesed from South Korea's Hyundai for Euro 2012.
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Phill M July 6, 2012, 4:47 a.m.    

So it seems that Ukraine, due to its government's lack of vision and foresight, lost out on a triple deal: It could have bought a locally built product (thus put money into its own economy) for less than it cost to purchase foreign (thus saving money), and lost out on showcasing its locomotives to Europe (thus potentially missing out on a large market).

If the Korean locomotives are giving as much trouble as they are reported to, I think that the government should hold off on paying Hyundai the rest of the purchase until the problems are resolved. Most likely it is a combination of inexperience by Hyundai in building fast locomotives, and the general state of Ukraine's rail infrastructure. Also what may be a factor is that Ukraine's maintenance techniques are not suitable for Hyundai's locomotives (different technology than what is common for Ukraine's rail workers to work with). I would also think that the Hyundai locomotives were rushed to meet the dead-line as well.

I certainly hope for a bright future for Kryukiv Rail Car, and that we will see their high speed engines arrive soon on Ukrainian railroads.

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Johannes Andersen July 7, 2012, 11:39 a.m.    

This article should be redone or withdrawn, it provides disinformation and doesn't live up to Kyiv Post's Western standards of journalism. It paints a far too rosy picture of the Kryukov plant trains and is way too hard on the Korean build trains. Either the reporter is heavily influenced by the visit to the Kryukov plant or directly paid by the plant as it is common in Ukraine.
Just 3 examples:
The placement of socket for electricity can hardly be a criteria for multi-million-dollar strategic desicions on nationwide passenger transportation.
The much hyped breakdowns of the Korean train is mostly smoke screens: in one case the train couldn't start from Kharkiv in the morning because it just hadn't been pluged in during the night. For a new system allowed only a few weeks of testing, the trains are performing much better that any new tranportation system in say, my home country of Denmark.
Korean engineers on the train told me that the train easely could go 200 km/h if the rail track would allowed for it, so the Kryukov trains doesn't have the competitive egde on speed the article suggests - and the hole issue of speeds above 160 km/h is irrelevant at this stage in Ukraine.

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