Travels 2021 – Part II

Not having done much travelling in 2021 (compared to pre-Covid times) it was decided to visit Ukraine again. The original plan meant all systems would be visited but for time reasons we decided in the end not to go west of Kiev (apart from one day trip to Zhytomyr) and we also had to skip Poltava and Kropyvnytskyi. Taking photos in October is never easy (long shadows, short days) but at least we were very (!) lucky with the weather. Modernization of lines & equipment is happening in many places and specially the old rolling stock is disappearing fast. Some trolleybus systems are now completely or mostly low floor and often battery functionality is used to reach new destinations away from the established wired network. Conductors have been replaced with electronic card systems in some cities and ticket prices are going up almost everywhere. We drove around the country by car (and later by taxi – which is fairly affordable still, even for 3-6 hour rides – at least when one travels as a small group). Unusually for our travels we were not going to visit many depots this time (having seen 98% of them before) and we also only rented a few vehicles (both depot visits and long rentals/charters take a lot of time and many of the systems are far apart and some roads do not yet encourage driving on them in the dark: too many pot holes – though I must say that most of the bad roads have gone, we only experienced 2-3 bad ones and 1-2 very bad ones; modernization is underway everywhere). Travelling through Donbas again was no problem: some road blocks as before but none of them took more than 5 minutes. Here is a selection of images taken each day.

  • Day 1 Kyiv

After a late arrival there was just time for about an hour near the railway station. Now very few old cars on the fast tram compared to previous visits.

  • Day 2 Kyiv

Most time was spent on the left bank system.

  • Day 3 Zhytomyr

A day-trip by Marshrutka. We managed to walk much of the tram line this time and the cars do not look very good and one wonders when the line will be closed. Many new trolleybuses have recently arrived.

  • Day 4 Bila Tserkva

Another day-trip by Marshrutka. The main aim was to see the two ex Budapest Ikarus trolleybuses that still run and we did see them during the evening rush hours.