Passenger numbers on international services increased by almost 14% in 1H2019
From January to June 2019, more than 363,400 passengers travelled on international services between Russia and abroad, 13.9% more than in 2018. The strongest growth was in services between Russia – Mongolia, which jumped by 22.7%, followed by Russia – France, which increased by 22.5%, Russia –Finland (+17%), Russia – Italy (+5.5%) and Russia – Germany (+2.2%).
The Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, operates comfortable trains on services to and from Europe, providing four-seater compartment RIC carriages made under joint production agreements between the Tverskoi Wagon Construction Plant and the German company Siemens.
RIC stands for Regolamento Internazionale delle Carrozze, International Coach Regulations, which cover the international use of railway passenger coaches between the European rail systems. The International Union of Railways (UIC) has been responsible for RIC administration since the early 1980s. Today, 27 railway companies from all the European countries have signed up the RIC agreement except for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Finland.
The FPC’s carriages thus provide comfortable sleeping berths, sockets in each compartment and a folding table in combination with a sink. All cars are equipped with an air conditioning system with individual adjustment in each compartment. Each car has two sanitary rooms, including one with a built-in shower.
The Strizh trains operating between Moscow and Berlin are manufactured by the Spanish company Patentes Talgo S.L. and have been running between Russia and Germany since December 2016. The carriages are equipped with an automatic system for changing the width of the wheel axles, which enables the trains to switch from the broad-gauge Russian system of 1520 mm to the European narrow-gauge track of 1435 mm at the interface of the two systems at Brest station in Belarus. The technology makes for a significant reduction in train standing time at Brest.
In the first half of 2019, the Strizh service between Moscow and Berlin carried 25,200 passengers, 78% more than during the same period last year. A total of 84,500 passengers have travelled on Strizh trains since the service began operations.
Comfortable high-speed Allegro trains capable of a maximum operating speed of 220 kph run between St. Petersburg and Finland’s capital Helsinki. In the first half of the year, Allegro trains transported 258,800 passengers, 17% more than in the same period of 2018. A total of 3.5 million passengers have been transported since the Allegro trains entered service on 12 December 2010.
During the first half of 2019 passenger numbers also increased between Russia and a number of CIS and Baltic countries, in particular between Russia and Tajikistan, where the number of passengers transported increased by 7%, while travellers between Russia – Moldova rose by 4.7% and between Russia and Kazakhstan by 4.4% etc.
In accordance with the train timetable for 2018/2019, the Federal Passenger Company operates direct and transit international passenger services to 11 countries in Europe and Asia on 16 different routes (to Germany, France, Finland, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, China and others), and 11 CIS and Baltic countries (Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia).
Trains and non-stop carriages are operated by both Russian and foreign carriers, as well by train companies in the CIS and Baltic countries.