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Nov 15, 2011

Yakunin takes part in laying "golden link" to complete Berkakit - Tommot - Nizhny Bestyakh line

Vladimir Yakunin, the President of Russian Railways, took part in the ceremonial laying of the "golden link" which now completes the Berkakit - Tommot - Nizhny Bestyakh line.

The ceremony took place at Nizhny Bestyakh in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) on 15 November 2011. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other officials were also in attendance.

Medvedev congratulated everyone involved in the construction on completing the line and noted that in the near future a bridge would be built across the river Lena and thus bring the railway to Yakutsk.

Vladimir Yakunin called today's event memorable and noted that the line should now connect Yakutia with Russia’s main rail network. The Berkakit - Tommot - Nizhny Bestyakh line runs for 808km and is connected with the Baikal-Amur Main Line (BAM) and the Trans-Siberian Main Line.

Russian Railways became involved in the project at an early stage and invested over 4 billion roubles in the line’s construction.

The Company supports the need for the construction of a combined road-rail bridge across the river Lena and the line’s direct connection with Yakutsk. This will finally create a modern transport spine for the whole region, significantly reducing its dependence on the seasonal import of goods. As a result, costs to the companies, population and the public authorities at all levels in Sakha (Yakutia) will fall by several factors.

The decision to build the Berkakit rail line to Yakutsk was made in 1985, with the first segment to Tommot station completed by 1995. At the moment, it is only operating temporarily. Construction of the second part of the line to Nizhny Bestyakh was begun after 2004.

The Rail Transport Development Strategy in the Russian Federation to 2030 provides for the further development of rail infrastructure in Yakutia and the Magadan region by constructing a strategic railway line from Nizhny Bestyakh to Magadan.

In the longer term, it is also planned to integrate the Chukotka and Kamchatka regions of Russia’s northeast into the country’s railway network.

With a link now established between Sakha (Yakutia) and the Russian network to handle the increasing volume of rail freight, the rapid development of the BAM and Trans-Siberian has become even more urgent.

As part of its own investment programme, Russian Railways is continuing to upgrade the rail network in stages, including the infrastructure of the Baikal-Amur Main Line, in order to handle the future volumes of freight traffic forecast with the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

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