International passenger numbers increased by 11.6% during January-September 2017
The number of passengers travelling on long-distance trains to Russia’s “Far Abroad” from January to September 2017 increased by 11.6% compared to the same period last year and amounted to almost 554,000 people.
Services between Russia and Finland saw the largest increase, with a rise of 24.3%, followed by Russia – China, up 21.9%, and Russia – Germany, up 16.2%.
In accordance with the 2016/2017 train timetable, international direct and transit passenger services run to 11 countries in Europe and Asia on 20 international routes, including from Russia to Germany, France, Finland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy and China etc.
In order to meet the constantly growing demand for passenger rail services, train No. 13/14 Strizh Moscow-Berlin was launched in December 2016 to increase links between Russia and Europe in general and Russia and Germany in particular.
The Strizh is manufactured by the Spanish company Patentes Talgo SL and is the first ever passenger train with carriages equipped with an automatic system for changing the width of wheel sets.
This technology is a distinctive feature which allows the Strizh to reduce the time needed to switch from the broad gauge track of 1520 mm used in Russia and the Former Soviet Union to the European narrow gauge of 1435 mm.
The change is made at Brest station in Belorussia.
Since the Strizh entered service between Moscow and Berlin, it has carried 21,800 passengers, including 20,600 travellers between January and September 2017.
During January-September 2017, passenger traffic with the CIS and Baltic countries also increased significantly. In particular, the number of passengers travelling between Russia and Latvia increased by 8% and between Russia and Estonia by almost 2%.
The number of passengers travelling between Central Asia also increased, with travellers between Russia and Tajikistan shooting up by 80.4%, while numbers on services with Uzbekistan rose by 11.7% and with Kazakhstan by 1.2%.