Army knows very well that it is not tanks but logistics that win the war. If the army cannot move quickly to the hotspot area at the war front, there is no point in striking. Of course, ensuring its distribution is equally important. And the railway, it turns out, is the best.
Trains became important vehicles in the freedom struggle – American Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski said a few days ago at the Railway Direction Days conference.
– Trains carry strategic materials to help Ukrainians fight. He stressed that fast and efficient railways are essential for national security and defence.
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No time to lose. The threat is real
The war in Ukraine began to work very intensively on Europe, including the countries of the three maritime initiatives (Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania). Upgrading of railway infrastructure For the needs of the army. It is very challenging. The NATO-Russia border is 1,500 km long. km
– Although Russian troops have been weakened by the war in Ukraine, the threat remains. No time to lose – Brigadier General Thomas K. Kowalik assesses the security support staff of the Multinational Forces North-Eastern Command.
But it can be pointed out that this is not the official position of the command of the Polish Army or NATO.
Since the discovery of the imminent attack of Vladimir Putin’s regime, the general explained during the congress. NATO has “a few days”, at most “weeks” to get to the right place.
This is especially important in the context of US and coalition pledges that the military will defend “every inch of NATO”. Potential wars should take place as far as possible within the alliance’s borders.
Because Have a functional railway system – refers to the army.
Big investments in high-speed rail
Three maritime initiative countries are preparing high-speed rail (HSR)-related investments, estimated at around EUR 65 billion in total. In the aforementioned conference, an agreement on cooperation was signed in this regard, which is to speed up the construction of HSR.. However, this does not change the fact that construction must be completed by the end of this decade. Assume no delays.
– We want the system to change in a year, not a decade – Brig honestly admits. Nuthatches. However, the problem is that the biggest investments are in the design phase. It will not happen as soon as the military would like.
A major problem that slows the movement of troops from place to place along NATO’s eastern border, for example, Different train spacing. One in the east and the other in the west. Lithuania, for example, has both, thanks to the fact that the country has so far been able to play an important intermediary role in the transport of goods between Russia and the EU.
The Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania, Marius Skuotis, has focused on the fact that Lithuania has so far been – for example, while integrating with the European Union – A bridge between East and West. However, now he is focusing on getting closer to the West.
Ukrainians currently feel the imperfect infrastructure between Poland and Lithuania. Kaunas is a very important multimodal terminal in the region. Recently, Ukrainians have been able to transport goods through Belarus without any problems. Now that is impossible. And transportation through our country is hampered by imperfect infrastructure.
More railway sidings and better cyber security
Big investments take time, but Brig. General. Kowalik believes there are issues that can be fixed quickly to better defend against a potential attack from Russia.
The first thing is to build more railway sides. Transport of soldiers, ammunition, armored vehicles, artillery, etc. does not cancel passenger transport. Both troop transfer and civilian evacuation are very important during war. Sidewalls improve efficiency on bumpy roads.
Another issue that needs improvement is railway cyber security. – We can be sure that the railway system will become the target of many hacker attacks Warns the military.
Diesel engines and tractors
Infrastructure in Ukraine could be targeted for missile attack. This highlights the need to reposition the rolling stock. Especially diesel enginesTraction does not stop during power outages in the network. and tow trucksSuitable for transporting heavy armored vehicles.
Col. Todd Allison, who handles logistics in the U.S. Army, estimates Europe does not have enough trucks to effectively move equipment to the front. Additionally, he explains, rail transport is faster because e.g. In the case of carriage of tanks, appropriate documentation should be prepared for the entire train and not for each truck separately.
The American expert had no doubt – the best way to transport the army was straight through the ports by rail and further inland. This requires well-maintained infrastructure around ports. The one in Poland needs improvement, which was shown by the problems with the transport of Ukrainian grain, e.g. Via Tri-City. Such demand arose after the Russians blockaded Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
– Since 2014 (when Russia attacked Ukraine for the first time and annexed Crimea – editor’s note) we have been preparing the infrastructure in case of conflict, we have done a lot – assures Brig. Nuthatches. Also indicates We still have a long way to go in this regard.
Jacek Losik, money.pl journalist
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