We have teamed up with the wider rail industry to send more than a million items of aid to Ukraine in response to the humanitarian crisis.
UK Rail for Ukraine has brought together large quantities of humanitarian aid from across the country. The cross-industry initiative was set up by volunteers in February and has sent a first aid train bound for Ukraine where it will be received by organisations working on the ground.
The special DB cargo service is carrying more than 1,500 tonnes of non-perishable food, hygiene and medial products, basic living equipment, and other needed supplies.
Many organisations across the country have donated the aid following requests from the Ukrainian authorities.
The aid from UK Rail for Ukraine was transported in 24 shipping containers as part of a 500-metre long train.
Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, said: “I am expressing my gratitude to the UK Railway industry and everyone who contributed to the UK Rail for Ukraine initiative. We greatly appreciate your support during such challenging times.
“The industry managed to organise a delivery directly to the places of greatest need in Ukraine, despite the complexity of the logistic routes.
“In addition to the humanitarian aid gathered by volunteers from different businesses and organisations, UK railway facilitated the delivery of 21 powerful industrial generators purchased by the Ukrainian Embassy which are imperative for Ukraine’s energy sector.”
Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport of the UK, said: “The UK Rail for Ukraine initiative is playing a great role in delivering humanitarian aid from across the country.
“Our exceptional railway network has come together and is working hard to deliver vital supplies to support the inspirational Ukrainian people.
The UK continues to stand with all those fleeing Putin’s barbaric invasion.”
Sir Peter Hendy, chair of Network Rail, said: “We have all seen the vital role the railway has played in Ukraine, delivering people to safety, and vital supplies to the front line. Britain’s railway is now playing its small part in supporting the inspirational people of Ukraine.”
Andrea Rossi, chief executive of DB Cargo UK, said: “Across Europe, DB Cargo is already leading the way in delivering humanitarian aid by rail to the Ukraine, having recently developed the first rail bridge to the war-torn region.
“Here in the UK, we are pleased to be able to support the ongoing aid effort to deliver essential supplies to ease the suffering of the Ukrainian people impacted and displaced by the atrocities that are unfolding.”
David Horne, managing director at London North Eastern Railway (LNER), said: “We are proud to be working alongside the wider railway family in providing support to the people of Ukraine, including our railway colleagues.”
Trent Smyth AM, executive director at trade body The Chief of Staff Association, said: “The initiative shown by the railway industry is truly impressive. We are proud we could play our part in bringing the right people together to help make this possible.”
Chris Docker, managing director of Symposium Consulting, said: “What the UK rail industry has achieved will start to make a real difference to those in Ukraine, but this could not have been achieved this without remarkable local support. Those individuals have our thanks and my personal commitment to build on this initial momentum.”