CIS and Baltic Railways increase international freight by 10.5%, says Oleg Belozerov
The railways of the CIS and Baltic States increased international freight transportation by 10.5% in the nine months of 2017 to the end of September compared to the same period last year, while the loading plan was exceeded by 2%.
Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways announced these figures at the 67th Session of the Council for Rail Transport of the Commonwealth Member States in his capacity as Chairman of the Council.
The Session was held in the Latvian capital Riga on 20 October 2017.
A new train timetable was also finally approved and confirmed at the Session and will come into effect at 00:00 on 10 December 2017. It provides for 111 pairs of international long-distance passenger trains and 26 pairs of suburban trains operating along the borders, as well 170 trailers and non-stop passenger carriages.
The timetables for 104 pairs of specialised container trains, including piggyback trains, have also been determined.
The railway administrations are working out various conditions to attract passengers, including with the involvement of other modes of transport.
In Russia, the Moscow Central Ring successfully functions in conjunction with the underground and urban surface transport. A similar project has been prepared for Uzbekistan, where the construction of 26 railway stations around Tashkent and connected with other modes of transport are planned.
“In the future, it will be possible to create a large-scale network of transport chains which will enable a passenger to travel door-to-door on just one ticket and give her the opportunity to use not only public transport services, but also a taxi and car rental,” said Oleg Belozerov.
The Council Chairman also stressed the importance of continuing to work on reducing the loss of international passenger traffic.
Oleg Belozerov reported to the Council that in May 2017, letters had been sent to the governments of the CIS member states with a request for them to consider the possibility of switching to a new system of payments for international trains and, accordingly, amending the national legislation to establish a zero VAT rate on these trains.
“I would like to appeal to all the participants in the Council with a proposal to exchange our different experience more often and unite our efforts to improve international transport. We have to continue our joint search for new transport technologies and introduce innovative rolling stock. Only that approach will lead us to new successes and achievements, said Oleg Belozerov.