Monday 9 May 2022

8th UIC Refugee Task Force meeting held on 6 May 2022

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The 8th UIC Refugee Task force meeting was attended remotely on 6 May 2022 by around 30 participants from across Europe, with representatives from UIC member railways and partner organisations.

Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, Coordinator Middle-East and Latin American Regions, Coordinator UIC Refugee and Covid-19 Task Forces, together with Vanessa Pérez Miranda, UIC Senior Passenger Advisor, welcomed the participants.

Daria Kardel, UIC Senior Security Advisor, presented the new UIC Document on Potential measures in response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis: Guidance for railway stakeholders. The document is based on information taken from the Task Force meetings, the questionnaire, the LinkedIn group and the UIC Extranet and has been uploaded to the Extranet. She reminded the meeting that the Task Force is composed of 96 representatives from 29 countries and 44 companies or organisations. Until now more than 5.3 million people have fled Ukraine and 7.7 million people have been internally displaced. Despite damage to the railway infrastructure, UZ continually strives to evacuate the people and the wounded, as well as carry humanitarian aid to the country. 9% of the refugees travelled by rail, which transported 200 000 people a day in the most challenging times. UZ transported 3.6 million people to west Ukraine, and 400 000 abroad.

The guidance presents the potential response measures undertaken by European railways:

  • Supporting the evacuation of refugees on trains (free tickets, humanitarian trains, new routes, additional trains…
  • Supporting refugees on their arrival in stations (information point, resting zones, working areas, free services…)
  • Measures for the staff (FAQs and psychological support)
  • Cooperation with humanitarian organisations (medical aid, shelters, guides, PRM assistance…)
  • And potential security issues

Anton Pylypchuk, representing Ukrainian Railways (UZ), shared the latest news regarding the situation in Ukraine during the last two weeks, with the notable attack of Kyiev, the hacker attacks on UZ systems of e-sales and the destruction of railway infrastructure all over Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war, 118 UZ railway employees have been killed and 137 injured.

He announced that from 1 May, passenger night trains have started services from Kiyev to Poland in accordance with the PKP train schedule.

He also underlined the work of Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). On 26 April, 8 UZ cars carried 25 injured patients from the frontline to Lviv. 300 civil patients were transported during last month, and 23 passenger cars were reequipped.

As of 3 May, around 10 000 tons of humanitarian aid were delivered in passenger carriages to Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, Zaporizzhia and Dnipro, among which food, medicine, water, clothes, goods for children…

He highlighted the fact that UZ lacks petrol due to the blockages and needs to know companies who have a fleet of tank cars for heavy machines, accumulators and military machines to help Ukrainian Railways.

A round table discussion then followed to discuss the current situation per impacted country and company with a particular focus on information exchange, the number of refugees arriving by train in each country, as well as the transport of freight. Updates were given, among others, from:

  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Romania

Members are encouraged to share their thoughts, either by writing to the internal UIC Refugee Task Force team or by posting in the UIC Extranet dedicated workspace.

A Task Force LinkedIn group is open to members. Feel free to join the group and share your thoughts:

A dedicated webpage of the Refugee Task Force is available on the UIC website:

The next Task Force Refugee web-conference is scheduled to take place on Friday 20 May 2022.

For any further questions or proposals for contributions to these Task Force meetings, please email:

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