High-Speed Railway Lines
High-speed railway lines are new specialised railway lines designed for trains travelling at speeds of between 200-400 kph. Fast lines are classified as those carrying passengers at speeds of between 140-200 kph on existing but upgraded lines.
Since December 2009, Moscow, Tver, Novgorod, Leningrad, Vladimir and Nizhny Novgorod regions have been linked by fast and high-speed connections on upgraded infrastructure.
High-speed Sapsan trains now operate between Moscow - St. Petersburg and Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod, Allegro fast trains between St. Petersburg and Helsinki, and fast Swallow trains between St. Petersburg and Veliky Novgorod and between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.
These fast and high-speed trains operated by Russian Railways transport over 3.2 million passengers every year.
An important step in the development of a fast and high-speed network in Russia is the construction of modern dedicated main lines capable of handling passenger trains travelling at speeds of up to 400 kph.
Studies show that promising routes for such lines are Moscow - St. Petersburg, Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod - Kazan - Yekaterinburg with connections to Perm, Ufa and Chelyabinsk, and Moscow - Rostov- on-Don - Adler with connections to the cities in this region.
These lines will reduce the travel time between neighbouring conglomerations to 1-1.5 hours and enable more than 100 million people living in the catchment areas of these routes to take advantage of high-speed services.
The construction of a network of fast railways and high-speed lines is provided for in the updated Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation to 2030 and considered in the Forecast for Russia's Socio-Economic Development covering the same period. Both these documents assume increased investment in economic growth based on the creation of modern transport infrastructure and high-tech industries.
Based on these documents, the General Scheme for the Development of the Rail Network includes the construction of 4,253 km of high-speed railways and 6,942 km of fast lines.
The need to develop high-speed railways
The growing congestion of road infrastructure and the objective growth of the population's increasing use of transport require systematic and long-term solutions that will improve the efficiency of the railway system as a whole. One of the tools to increase rail transport's efficiency is the development of fast and high-speed inter-regional connections designed to bring the parts of the Russian Federation closer together.
The development of high-speed services will also boost the export of advanced foreign technologies and result in massive job creation.
Socio and Economic Benefits from Creating High-Speed Railways:
- integration of urban conglomerations and regional centres in a single conglomeration;
- provision of modern public services - high-speed rail passenger services;
- development of the regions, improvements in the standard of living; remote regions automatically become close suburbs of Russia 's largest urban conglomerations;
- increases in Russia's socio-economic potential, since the development of transport is the basis for the success and prosperity of a number of other industries, as well as a fundamental condition for improving the country's investment climate;
- an increase in the qualifications of Russian experts and an improvement in the country's level of employment;
- the formation and development of an integrated system of intermodal hubs: airports - high-speed railways - urban transport;
- an increase the country's prestige since in the modern world, no economically developed country will remain without a system of high-speed railways in the coming years.