The reforms of Balcona: what has changed in a year in “Ukrzaliznytsia”

Wojciech Balczun headed Ukrzaliznytsia in may last year. At home pole was a successful Manager of the railway company PKP Cargo. He often got in the ratings top-10 and top-20 leaders of Poland. In the Ukraine, he was in control of got worn out on 90% of the rolling stock and corrupt system of state-owned companies. By the middle of 2016 due to the lack of fuel, spare parts, cars and money W/e the company was on the verge of stopping.

The Cabinet has promised to pay Balcony about a million dollars a year, if that will put the enterprise on its feet (salary of top managers is 460 thousand hryvnias a month, and still provides for bonuses for the implementation of the plan). The head of “uz” the first priority has identified the fight against corruption in the company, modernization and plan for the coming years. The website “Today” has learned, what has changed on the Ukrainian Railways for the year of the Polish Manager.

The main victories of Balcona

“The main thing is we managed to make it so that “uz has no stopped.” Said so on his main achievement Wojciech Balczun in interview “League. Business.” The success he attributed the beginning of the upgrade of trains and carriages, as well as the development strategy for five years. The latter was never approved.

“Ernst & Young on the financial audit this year, removed from its report a paragraph stating that there is a risk for the continuation of activities of UZ. A realistic assessment of the auditor was not to survive the firm in 2016. Now they came to us with smiles and said that UZ is in good hands and goes on a straight path, let’s not lose”, – said Balczun.

Among the notable achievements of Balchune the opening of new routes to Poland. Photo:

Among the achievements of the head of “Ukrzaliznytsya” experts say the discovery of new destinations from Kiev and Lviv in Polish Przemysl, from Kovel, in the Hill, and new routes to Ukraine. In addition, the railway company for the first time in many years began to change the bed linen, towels and mattresses in passenger cars.

In 2016, the “Ukrzaliznytsia” a little, but still began to update the Park. So, last year, the company increased the number of freight cars on more than 1 million and ordered a 21 passenger car. For comparison: in 2015 no purchased a single car.

“In General, on the railroad, it took a lot of positive changes. “Ukrzaliznytsya” for the first time in many years I opened a new message. For example, running the train Kiev – Izmail. For the first time in history, the inhabitants of southern Bessarabia received a message from Kiev and other regions of the country. Also, there was a route Kiev, Ukraine – Solotvyno – the early inhabitants of the Eastern Carpathians could not ride direct to the capital. Moreover, tourists from other regions had the opportunity for a direct train ride to the resort of Shayan, and the Valley of daffodils. Running trains “intercity” Kyiv – Kryvyi Rih, Kiev – Kirovograd, Kiev – Nikolaev and Kiev – Kherson. Plus opened a new passenger route Kyiv – Lviv – Przemysl and Kovel – Yagodin – helm. For the first time in the history of “Ukrzaliznytsya” there was no shortage of tickets to the summer traffic and the Christmas and new year holidays. Started the procurement of new passenger and freight cars. Also “uz” started to implement projects for the electrification of Railways”, – said the former Deputy Minister of infrastructure Alexander cava.

Setbacks and failures

The new strategy of state-owned companies was not approved, and the work of the Railways are not qualitatively changed, the Director of the Center for transport strategies Sergey Vovk. In addition, Ukrzaliznytsia failed program investment in fixed assets in 2016, 20 billion hryvnias disbursed only 60%.

Besides, in 2016 the state company planned to direct investment 11.2 billion. But in fact disbursed 6.9 billion On the eve of the arrival of Balcona Ukrzaliznytsia has indexed tariffs on cargo carriage is brought more than 6 billion UAH of additional income. In the presence of Finance official took the opportunity to use them effectively.

“Ukrzaliznytsya” in 2016 bought 1 thousand freight cars. Photo:

“This year the situation is even more critical, as laid 22 billion for the first quarter fulfilled only 1.3 billion And this is the main point of “Ukrzaliznytsia”, which should substantially raise the company’s competitiveness. Positive results not so much – it’s the opening of new areas in Poland. It is possible to note the allocation of the strategic reserve of fuel. But this – point victory. All the rest – with a minus sign,” – commented Sergey Vovk.

Balcon and could not find a common language with the Minister of infrastructure. Vladimir Omelian accuses the head of “Ukrzaliznytsya” for the lack of progress in the fight against corruption and insisted on his dismissal. Because of the conflict the Cabinet reassigned “Ukrzaliznytsya” Minekonomrazvitia. Vladimir Shulmeister, Director of the program “Infrastructure of the future” analytical center “Ukrainian Institute for the future”, said Wojciech Balczun not engaged in any anti-corruption or cooperation with factories, which led to greater wear and tear of wagons and locomotives.

90% of the rolling stock “uz” worn. Photo:

“U “uz” 47 large factories and depots. Last year they were generally without work. Because of this, in the fall of 2016 there was a great shortage of wagons for transportation of wheat and ore. Many businesses have suffered, who have broken contracts. It also began a shortage of locomotives – more than 90% of the Park is worn. This year the situation will worsen. In the next five years to replace the 500 locomotives. Nothing has been done for tariffs. There is talk about raising the rate, but you need to change its very structure. How was the corruption with the procurement of fuel, and left. In these areas Balcon did nothing. Speaking about winning pole, I see two refurbished escalator at the Kiev station and have started a new direction in Poland” – said Vladimir Shulmeister.

Now Ukrzaliznytsia is in danger of failing the declared plans for renovating the cars for 2017. Planned for year 9000 freight cars in four months, only built 252. The company never moved to a formula-based contracts for the purchase of diesel fuel. During the year Balczun has not solved the problems of freight transport from Mariupol. In March, after the modernization of Ukrzaliznytsia said that the capacity of the site between Donetsk and Mariupol increased to 23 freight and four passenger trains a day, but in reality are 16-17 freight trains, which leads to lower productivity of enterprises in the region.

However, the reform of “Ukrzaliznytsya” for you – Ukrainian Railways ranks sixth in Europe and 12th in the world, said Alexander Kava. Moreover, much depends on the government. By the way, on 5 June, the government contract with Wojciech Balchunas ended. In the coming weeks the former head of “uz” needs to report back to Cabinet on the results of their work. After this, the government will take a decision on further work of Balcona in Ukraine.