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As of Dec. 16, 2013, Ukrainian Railroads (Ukrzaliznitsia UZ) has transported 20.12 million tons (313,500 rail cars) of grain since the beginning of 2013. The export shipments totaled 18.4 million tons, domestic ones - 1.74 million tons, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine reports.
Experts note that since the start of the harvesting season, the rail traffic volumes have been constantly growing. For example, in November 2013, over 54,000 grain cars (or 3.45 million tons of grain) were loaded, which is up 72% from November 2012.
"The autumn months were the record ones for the industry in terms of load. Virtually the entire range has grown, especially grain - which is profitable for the railroad - has boosted traffic and profits," said Sergei Bolobolin, UZ General Director.
Agricultural analysts’ forecasts about the record harvest in 2013 prompted the railroad to conduct intensive preparations to ensure transportation of grain in full scope and without delay, say industry experts. For that, a large scale repair program has been implemented for the grain cars. So, in 2013, with the plan 1,365 grain cars, 2,173 cars have been actually renovated, including about 1,000 cars with extended life. And by end of 2013, the company plans to repair another 500 specialized cars. Also, the grain cars that UZ was not able to repair at its own expense, were leased to private operators. Under the terms of the lease, the operator companies will repair rolling stock and then use it for transportation of grain.