Southwestern Railways

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Southwestern Railways
Південно-Західна залізниця
Pivdenno-Zakhidna zaliznitsia.png
Ukrainian Railways (subdivisions).png
Subdivisions of Ukrainian Railways
Headquarters Kyiv
Locale Central Ukraine, North Ukraine
Dates of operation1870present
PredecessorSouthwestern Railways (Soviet Union)
Track gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in)
Length4,668  km (2,900  mi)
Struve Railroad Bridge 1870s Most Struve Kiev 01.jpg
Struve Railroad Bridge

Southwestern Railways (PZZ), (Ukrainian : Південно-Західна залізниця) headquartered in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, is a component part of the Ukrzaliznytsia company, its regional branch.


It is named "Southwestern" because it is Southwest of Moscow, despite being in the Northern part of Ukraine.


As of 2008, SWR's rail system included 4,668 km (2,901 mi) of track, of which 93,3% were electrified.

The SWR consists of five sections (directions) named after the cities of their administration seat

The above mentioned directions administrative seats beside regular train stations have also locomotive and railcar depots. In addition such depots also are located in Shepetivka, Darnytsia (left-bank Kyiv), Bakhmach, Vorozhba, Hrechany (neighborhood of Khemlnytskyi), and Snovsk (formerly Shchors).

There are 315 railway stations in the SWR system.


SWR's route map includes all the railroads in the Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytskyi and Sumy oblasts (provinces of Ukraine).

Its territory borders Belarusian Railway to the north in Belarus, Moscow Railway to the north and north-east in Russia, Calea Ferată din Moldova to the south-west in Moldova, and three Ukrainian territorial branches of Ukrainian Railways, Lviv Railways to the west, Southern Railways to the east, and Odessa Railways to the south.

The Chernihiv–Ovruch railway that passes Chernobyl Power Plant and has restricted use also passes across the territory of neighboring Belarus.


The first railway to be built in the Ukrainian part of the Russian Empire was a track from Odessa to Balta. It was 213 km (132 mi) in length, and was built in 1865. This railroad connected the agricultural regions of the northern part of today's Odessa Oblast with Odessa, a seaport on the Black Sea coast.

The direct predecessor of Southwestern Railways was Kyiv–Balta railways that in 1870 linked Kyiv with Odesa Railways through [Balta. Just before that in 1868 in Kyiv began construction of an important piece of infrastructure, the Struve Railroad Bridge, which in 1870 connected both banks of the city over Dnieper. In that year Kyiv was also connected to the rest of Russian Empire's railroad system by a track from Kyiv to Kursk with Kursk – Kyiv branch. The history of the SWR began on 7 June 1870, when the construction of these railroads was launched and making it the third oldest railway system in Ukraine after Lviv and Odessa. The Kyiv Passenger Railway Station, the main railway station of the SWR and the Ukrzaliznytsia was also built in that year.

Between 1871 and 1876 lines from Zhmerynka to Volochysk and from Berdychiv to Shepetivka were added, and between 1890 and 1897, the lines from Zhmerynka to Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Kozyatyn to Uman, Khrystynivka to Shpola and Berdychiv to Zhytomyr; 1897 was also the year when the Fastiv Railways were added to the SWR. Volyn Railways were brought into the SWR in 1902, the same year that the line from Kyiv to Korosten was built. By the beginning of World War I the total length of the SWR system was 3,096 km (1,924 mi).


Among the most notable directors of Southwestern Railways was Sergei Witte who later became the Prime Minister of Russia.

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