Oleg Belozerov urges railway companies operating in 1520 space to increase speed and quality of passenger service to up traffic volumes
International passenger traffic on railways in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) amounted to 18.6 million people in 2018. Passengers numbers were thus up by 0.7% in 2018 compared to the previous year, said Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways. This was the first increase in recent years.
Belozerov was addressing the 70th meeting of the Council for Railway Transport of the Commonwealth Member States, which is currently being held in Helsinki.
The head of Russian Railways noted that over the previous seven years, international passenger traffic on the railway network of the CIS countries had fallen more than threefold, but in 2017-2018 the number of travellers had stabilised.
Oleg Belozerov stressed that reducing the time of passenger trains en route, including by speeding up and optimising control procedures at border crossings, as well as meeting increasing passenger requirements for comfort, were the most important tasks facing the railways operating in the 1520 mm broad gauge space.
The Company CEO also noted that the implementation of the passenger train timetable in the current year had improved compared to the same period in 2017. For instance, the number of international passenger trains which had to stop at borders for more than 30 minutes had fallen more than twofold.
"I would ask the railway administrations to take technological measures to strengthen control over the quality of training for international trains, as well as to improve the execution of official instructions and transportation rules by train teams," said Oleg Belozerov.
At the meeting, it was noted that under the current timetable, which was introduced in December 2018, the number of international trains had been increased for the first time since 2007, with 116 pairs now in service.
As part of the development of the timetable for 2019-2020, which will come into effect on 8 December 2019, it is planned to increase the number further to 119 pairs. This has became possible thanks to the coordinated actions of the railway administrations to improve the efficiency of transportation and find mutually beneficial solutions to achieve positive financial results.