"Russian Railways is ready to expand cooperation with the railway administrations in the SCO," says Oleg Belozerov
In January-August 2019, freight transportation on the Russian rail network between Russia and the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) increased by 7% compared to the same period last year and amounted to 109.3 million tons, said the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov. Belozerov was speaking at a meeting of the heads of the SCO railway administrations in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur Sultan on 19 September 2019.
"This dynamic indicates the existence of a stable and mutually beneficial relationship in the SCO space, both between the railway administrations and the business community. We are ready to support it and expand our cooperation with regard to the railways," he said.
The Company is helping business by giving discounts of 50% on the transportation of a number of goods exported to the SCO countries of and 55% in transit container shipments.
The implementation of infrastructure projects also contributes to the development of cooperation. Significant potential for increased traffic is being opened up by the implementation of large-scale investment programmes to modernise the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Sib Main Lines, as well as the approaches to the seaports of South and North-West of Russia.
Oleg Belozerov said that the Company was ready to expand cooperation the members of SCO in terms of engineering and infrastructure development, including countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
For example, technical documentation for the Nagpur-Secunderabad railway line upgrade project in India has been developed to increase passenger speeds to 200 kph.
"RZD International has now completed the preparation of the feasibility study for this project and we are just waiting for the decision from the Indian side," said the CEO of Russian Railways.
Russian Railways is also interested in joining the work of the Sino-Kyrgyz-Uzbek working group on the construction project for the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China line. Together with its Uzbek counterparts, the Company is working on the issue of participating in the project to electrify the Bukhara-Urgench-Khiva site.
In connection with Russia’s presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2019-2020, Oleg Belozerov proposed holding the next meeting of the heads of railway administrations in Russia.
"I am convinced that such an expanded format will lead to a fuller and more productive dialogue and will allow us to develop a strategy for our future activities for the benefit of all our countries," he said.