Rail Transport Council of CIS Member States sums up work of joint railway network in 2015 and 1Q 2016
The 64th session of the Council for Railway Transport of CIS Member States began on 18 May 2016 in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.
The delegation of Russian Railways was headed by Company Vice-President Pavel Ivanov.
The main item on the meeting's agenda was the Council's consideration of the operational work of the railway network, international passenger transport in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, payments between the railway administrations, the development of the train timetable for 2016-2017 and an inventory of freight wagons and containers.
In addition, a meeting of the Board plans to discuss and accept a number of changes to a series of regulatory documents on the operation and maintenance of railway infrastructure and rolling stock.
During the plenary session, it was noted that in 2015, the railway companies which are members of council transported 1.94 billion tons of freight, 4.1% less than in the previous year.
At the same time, the first quarter of 2016 showed a general positive trend: the railways carried 459 million tons of freight, 0.3% more than in the same period in 2015.
The session paid particular attention to improving the efficiency and attractiveness of international passenger traffic.
In 2015, the CIS railway network carried 20.5 million passengers on international passenger services, 34.1% less than in 2014.
The number of international passengers fell at all railway administrations.
In the first quarter of 2016, the fall in volumes slowed down: 3.8 million passengers were transported, which is 10.4% less than during the same period last year.
Railway administrations worked actively during the reporting period to develop the passenger service system.
Thus, in 2015 the railway companies in the Russian Federation, the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Lithuania launched new high-speed trains between Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod, Tashkent - Karshi and Vilnius - Klaipeda.
Modern rolling stock has made for a significant increase in train speeds and improved passenger service. Carriages are equipped with modern climate control systems, environmentally friendly toilet units and comfortable chairs. The Republic of Azerbaijan has bought modern rolling stock, namely the Stadler double-decker electric train, while the Republic of Kazakhstan has purchased additional carriages for the development of the Tulpar-Talgo high-speed trains.
Railway administrations also paid considerable attention to the development of modern ticket sales channels.
In 2015, the Russian Railways' network introduced Stage II of its e-ticket project and replaced its old ticket and cash equipment with a new software and hardware system. E-registration services have been extended to cover services between Russia and the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Estonia.
A ticket sales system has also been introduced on the website of Uzbek Railways and on the site of Lithuanian Railways for domestic services.
Services for passengers on trains and at stations are undergoing constant development. Belarusian Railways has introduced a service to provide access to the Internet via Wi-Fi at its stations. The trains of the Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, provide on-board access to the Internet and Wi-Fi Movies and a choice of meals when booking tickets.