How the cancellation of suburban electric trains affected the work of MTZ
Since mid-August, Belarusian Railways has cancelled many suburban electric trains. This caused much inconvenience to the factory workers who travel to work to Minsk from Baranovichi, Molodechno, Radoshkovichi, Zaslavl, Borisov, Zhodino, Smolevichi and Osipovichi, and then return back, writes Sputnik.
Andrey is an ordinary worker at the Minsk Tractor Plant. For the past 14 years, he has worked in the foundry of the enterprise where parts for domestic tractors are cast – as a molder, sometimes replacing the foreman. The work is dusty and far from being easy. Often he works the second shift and now he is unable to catch the last train to Radoshkovichi. And he doesn’t really want to walk the ties. What do the factory workers have to do, and will Belarusian Railways bring the train back to the schedule?
I had to write an explanatory report
Radoshkovichi is located almost 40 kilometers away from Minsk. Andrey wakes up at 4 a.m. and takes the first “factory” train. He arrives in Minsk also before dawn – at 05:56 a.m., takes the subway and goes to MTZ (Minsk tractor works). The first shift starts at 06:50 a.m.
However, it’s not always like this. Andrey works alternate shifts on a weekly basis, and sometimes his shift starts at 3:00 p.m. and ends at 11:40 p.m. and now he is unable to catch up with the last train, which used to leave the metropolitan platform at 00:52 a.m. and now – at 10:13 p.m.
Andrey learned from fellow factory workers about cancellation of trains since August 30. And then corresponding announcements began to appear on the platform in Radoshkovichi. Andrey says that there used to be convenient trains at 11:48 p.m., 00:03 a.m., 00:21 a.m. and 00:36 a.m. However, they were cancelled a long time ago due to low passenger traffic. The same fate befell the train leaving at 00:52 p.m.
“In fact, the plant schedule doesn’t provide for alternate shifts. Recently, one worker applied for it – the foreman signed the paper, but the shop manager did not. I told my supervisor to give me the first shift; otherwise I will go to work in another workshop. There is no other way out”, Andrey complains.
He notes that this is a big problem for many MTZ employees. Many of them go to work from the towns within the Minsk region: Dzerzhinsk, Smolevichi, Borisov. Sometimes difficulties arise with daytime trains. “Last week, on August 26, the train was late due to repair work on the tracks, because of this I was 10 minutes late for work. I had to write an explanatory note”, Andrey says.
The management team of the plant is not going to resolve the issue; it is not going to drive its employees to their homes either: it is costly. And the workers are unable to take minibuses: the last one to Molodechno leaves at 9:30 p.m., to Borisov – at 10:30 p.m.
Is there a way out?
However, there is a way out, albeit not entirely convenient: it is possible to stay to work the third shift for extra money – it starts at 11:00 p.m. and ends at 06:50 a.m.
“To go home, sleep for a couple of hours and come to work the second shift. However, the second shift is also inconvenient by the fact that you have to go to work by minibuses, because electric trains departing at lunchtime have been cancelled. And you can’t get there by train and you can’t go back. So, the second shift is definitely not an option”, says the plant worker. Andrey has a strong belief: if the management team does not sign a document on his transfer to the first shift, he will go to work in another workshop. There is no other way out.
What does Belarusian Railways say?
Belarusian Railways comments on the situation as follows: in connection with the adjustment of the amount of traffic with regard to regional economy-class lines in accordance with the actual demand for transportation, the routes, the frequency of running and the timetable of some electric trains are being changed.
So, due to low demand, 13 evening trains have already been cancelled: between Slutsk and Soligorsk, Gomel and Dobrush, Gomel and Kravtsovka, Kalinkovichi and Slovechno, Grodno and Lida, Luninets and Bukhlichi, Luninets and Zhitkovichi, Gomel and Vasilevichy, Molodechno and Glubokoe, Minsk and Gudogai (through Zaslavl and Molodechno), Minsk and Baranovichi, Minsk and Borisov, Minsk and Osipovichi.
However, in October, Belarusian Railways will switch to “winter” time, in this regard, the timetable of some trains will change, and possibly new ones will be added. Belarusian Railways asks passengers to show understanding regarding the situation.