Accelerated development of CIS border checkpoints is a major priorities in “Concept For The Strategic Development of Railway Transport in the 1520 Space until 2030”
Oleg Belozerov, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways, has presented the new Concept For The Strategic Development of Railway Transport in the 1520 Space until 2030.
Belozerov made the presentation at a meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of Governments on 12 November 2021 via a videoconference.
In his address, Oleg Belozerov noted that the importance of railway transport in the global transport system was constantly increasing, that macroeconomic trends were changing, and that new trends were dynamically developing, while the basis of the work of railway experts in the 1520 Space remains agreed decisions and coordinated actions.
"Based on the unified positions reflected in the Concept, we could with confidence consistently increase the competitiveness of rail transport and strengthen the economic potential of the CIS countries, as well as build a dialogue with the rail experts in the European Union and Asia-Pacific countries and thus strengthen the position of the Commonwealth of Independent States," said Oleg Belozerov.
The Chief Executive Officer of Russian Railways said that the development of transport and logistics services was one of the key growth areas reflected in the presented document, including the formation in the CIS of a denser logistics "infrastructure grid" of international transport routes and terminals. According to Belozerov, this would be facilitated by the further implementation of the tariff policies of the CIS countries, based on agreed principles and approaches.
Another important area was the accelerated development of the processing capabilities of railway checkpoints at the CIS borders, where, according to Belozerov, the key issue was the reduction of non-productive time based on improving control operations at border crossings.
The Concept also envisages improving the quality of passenger transportation, in particular, increasing speed and comfort. The solution to these problems was based on the renewal of the rolling stock.
In addition, the Concept For The Strategic Development of Railway Transport pays close attention to the issues surrounding the digital transformation. The priority in this direction was a complete transition to electronic transportation and shipping documents and the creation of common interfaces with other modes of transport.
Sustainable development, a green agenda and decarbonisation are also reflected in the Concept. According to Oleg Belozerov, the plan to develop the rail industry’s indisputable environmental advantage – which consists in ten times fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to other modes of transport, as well as its high safety record and energy efficiency – will make it possible to take a qualitative step towards increasing the industry’s investment attractiveness.
Oleg Belozerov also emphasised that during the implementation of the previous Concept, which was adopted for the decade between 2010 and 2020, the 1520 Space saw an increase of 3,000 km in its rail network and 15% in its freight turnover. The implementation of the document made it possible to increase international trade and improve the business climate and economic potential.
The 1520 mm broad-gauge rail network totals 160,000 kilometres of track, which is about 17% of the total length of the world’s rail network. Every year, the 1520 system carries more than two billion tons of goods or 22.2% of the volume of traffic on all the world’s railways. Its freight traffic is about 19 million tons per kilometre, which is 12% more than in the USA, 70% more than in India and Canada and almost 10 times more than in the EU.