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Nov 24, 2015

Russian Railways Board reviews updated programme to develop high-speed rail

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A joint meeting on high-speed transport in Russia was held between the Board of Russian Railways and the Public Council under the chairmanship of Oleg Beloziorov, President of Russian Railways, and Alexander Zhukov, Co-Chair of the Public Council and First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma. The meeting was held in Moscow on 23 November 2015.

Also taking part in the meeting were representatives from Russia's federal executive bodies, the chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the heads of regional administrations, enterprises in the machine-building sector, academic and research organisations and representatives of foreign states.

"The Public Council on High-Speed Transport has already existed for more than two years, and its creation was an important step in terms of the joint efforts of state and society to implement high-speed rail projects," said Alexander Zhukov.

Zhukov also noted that at the moment, engineering research was being carried out as part of the development work on the first domestic high-speed rail project between Moscow - Kazan, for which funding was being provided from the 2015 Russian budget.

In addition, the State Duma is developing several legislative initiatives, while the Russian government has established an interdepartmental working group on the implementation of the investment project to build the Moscow - Kazan high-speed railway line under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

One of the main issues addressed at the meeting was the updated Programme on High-Speed Rail in the Russian Federation, which has been synchronised with all the strategic documents and covers the period up to 2030.

"The updated programme includes 20 high-speed railway projects that will allow the launch of more than 50 high-speed routes, along which no less than 84 million trips will be made every year, while the total length of high-speed lines will exceed 7,000 kilometres," said Oleg Beloziorov.

According to Beloziorov, high-speed lines, such as those between Moscow - Kazan - Yekaterinburg, Moscow - Adler and Moscow - St. Petersburg, will be the backbone of these projects. Creating high-speed railways will modernise Russia's railway network and bring it into line not only with the present, but also the future demand for passenger and freight transportation.

The programme will also accelerate Russia's economic growth as a whole, ensuring the growth of gross domestic product, increase transportation mobility (to 700 passengers/km per person per year) and significantly reduce travel time between the country's largest cities.

One of the most important results of the programme will be the establishment of a high-speed rail freight corridor for shipping containerised cargo between China and Europe. This will increase freight transit through Russia and lend impetus to the development of industrial clusters in Siberia, the Urals and the Volga region.

"As a result, the implementation of the programme will lead to an increase in long-distance passenger traffic of 40% and double revenue growth at the RZD Holding from the long-distance passenger transport by 2030," said Oleg Beloziorov.

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