Popular and affordable trip
Belarus’ first economy class diesel train, carrying passengers along regional lines, launched in Kalinkovichi
By Yevgeny Nikonov
According to Belarusian Railways (and confirmed by monitoring of passenger traffic), most of those using the Kalinkovichi-Vasilevichi-Khoiniki and Kalinkovichi-Slovechno routes are local enterprise workers and summer cottagers. Naturally, the cost of tickets will be important to passengers, so a sensible compromise has been found (following the 2010 rail passenger transportation plan); this balances the public’s ability to pay with profitability.
“The new system classifies lines as international, commercial, urban, regional and inter-regional. The last two offer business and economy class, with various levels of comfort and speed,” explains Sergey Matskevich, the Deputy Head of Belarusian Railways’ Passenger Service. “As far as economic efficiency of regional one-wagon diesel trains is concerned, this is a major advantage of the joint project by Belkommunmash, Minsk’s Wagon Repair Plant and Polish PESSA Bydgoszcz SA engine. It consumes three times less fuel than a traditional diesel train, while significantly enhancing the level of comfort for passengers and engine drivers.”
After a short celebration on the Kalinkovichi railway station platform, which included the heads of the Kalinkovichi, Mozyr and Khoiniki districts (to be connected via diesel train regional lines very soon), passengers took their seats. These included Socialist Labour Hero and honoured irrigator Ivan Pyrko and participant of the Great Patriotic War Vasily Kozelko, as well as other people well–known in the Kalinkovichi area.