On 2 May, the Czech City of Brno announced that it will send two trams and six trolleybuses to its Ukrainian partner city Kharkiv.
According to the municipality, sending the public transport vehicles will help war-torn Ukraine begin rebuilding the infrastructure and public services it has lost since Russia’s invasion in February.
In a press release, the Mayor of Brno Markéta Vaňková explained that donating public transport vehicles is an effective and rapid way of helping Kharkiv at the moment. As such, Vaňková contacted the Brno City Transport Company to arrange the donation of the trams and trolleybuses which it planned on discontinuing as part of its fleet renewal.
It is important to clarify that although the selected trams (T3) and trolleybuses (Tr14) would have been removed from circulation, they can still run and function smoothly. Confirming this, General Manager of the Brno City Transport Company Miloš Havránek explained:
“These are vehicles that are still in use in our country, but we are able to let go of them without affecting the quality of services. They undergo regular service, so even though they date from the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to their good condition, they can still serve for many years.”
In a post on Facebook, the Mayor of Brno further revealed that the trams and trolleybuses will be transported to Kharkiv by Gepard Express. Discussing the journey to the Ukrainian city, the head of Gepard Express, Albert Fikáček, shared:
“We will go to the city of Mostyska, which lies 12 kilometres from the Polish border and about 60 kilometres from Lviv. Transhipment to wide gauge wagons will take place here. Trams must be taken to workshops where their gauge will be changed so that they can be used in Kharkiv, trolleybuses can theoretically leave immediately. The vehicles will then be transported to the city as soon as there is no threat of their destruction.”