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Brief Description of the Corridor

Major cities en route

In Russia: Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Smolensk, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Astana, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk  Chita, Khabarovsk, Vostochny, Vladivostok.

Beyond Russia: Helsinki, Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk, Kiev, Budapest, Ulaanbaatar, Beijing, Pyongyang, Seoul, Pusan.

Other countries along the corridor

Russia, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Hungary.

Built between 1890 and 1905 to connect Moscow with Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast 6560 miles (10,555 km) away, the Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the most famous and romantic railway lines in world. Gaze in wonderment at the breath-taking views that Siberia has to offer, and stop off at any point along the en route to take a closer look. Relax at the tranquil and beautiful Lake Baikal, the largest body of fresh water in the world. Explore the Buddhist monasteries of Ulan-Ude and enjoy the views of the Pacific from Vladivostok. Nowadays, the Trans-Siberian route today has connections to Berlin, Kiev, Budapest, Helsinki and Beijing.

A lesser known fact about of the Trans-Siberian is that is a major freight artery offering a fully developed container service across Eurasia from Berlin to Beijing, with links to major cities in Europe, including Helsinki, Kaliningrad, Warsaw, Minsk, Kiev, St Petersburg, Smolensk and Yekaterinburg. In addition to Russian stations in Siberia itself, the Trans-Siberian also has connections to Astana in Kazakhstan, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, Beijing in China, Pyongyang in North Korea and Seoul and Pusan in South Korea.

The International Coordinating Council on Trans-Eurasian Transportation was established with the express purpose of attracting freight to the Trans-Siberian route.

Advantages of the Trans-Siberian compared to Sea Transport

  • The Trans-Siberian reduces travel time for freight shipments by almost twothirds : containers from China to Finland take less than 10 days on the Trans-Siberian, compared to 28 days by sea;
  • The political risk is low : up to 90% of the route passes through Russia – a state with a stable democratic system of government, a stable political climate and a steadily growing economy;
  • Trans-Siberian minimizes the need for trans-shipment, thus reducing the cost of cargo and the risk of accidental damage to goods during handling.

At present, a major part of the freight between East and West goes by sea. The dominant or near monopoly position of marine shipping companies means shippers cannot expect a reduction of in transport costs. Rail transport offers a reasonable economical alternative to shipment by sea.

Service

Modern information technology allows:

  • full monitoring of trains and the status of cars and containers;
  • customers to follow their consignments in real time, find outtheir their current location along the route and be notified when their containers and cargo arrive at their destinations in Russia;
  • commercial inspection of items;
  • electronic goods declaration, thus reducing freight inspection times from 3 days to 1.5 hours;
  • all containers on each train to be listed in a single transport document;
  • the security of goods in transit- to be monitored. 

Prospects

In order to increase the transit capacity of the international transport corridor between Europe and the Asia-Pacific along the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Government of the Russian Federation and Russian Railways are developing and implementing the following measures:

  • large-scale investment projects in the eastern part of the Trans-Siberian to ensure the growth of rail transportation and transit between Russia and China;
  • modernization and renovation of railway stations on the border with Mongolia, China and North Korea. This work  is now complete;
  • enhanced approaches to seaports;
  • modernization and container terminals and bringing them up to international standards;
  • comprehensive reconstruction of the Karymskaya - Zabaykalsk route is underway to provide increased freight volumes to China (especially oil).

By 2015, Russian Railways plans to spend approximately 50 billion roubles on upgrading the Trans-Siberian Railway .

The Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation (CCTT) and Russian Railways are preparing a concept for Trans-Siberian traffic  to 2020 which provides for:

  • a systematic approach to the development of Trans-Siberian container traffic by rail and in sea areas and ports, in cooperation with forwarding associations in Europe, Russia, South Korea, Japan and Austria, as well as with forwarding companies;
  • the development and implementation of competitive tariffs for the shipment of foreign trade and transit goods, taking into account the directions of freight flows and the conditions for shipping freight using alternative routes;
  • further improvements to the technology and organization of transit trade and goods on the Trans-Siberian route;
  • improvements to the conditions and principles of the joint activities of railways, shipping companies, port operators, freight forwarders and members of the CCTT to attract cargo to the Trans-Siberian;
  • high quality service to attract cargo to the Trans-Siberian by coordinating  the international activities of those involved in Trans-Siberian freight traffic;
  • real time notifications for to customers on the movement of goods to their destination;
  • increasing the processing capacity of ports in eastern and western Russia;
  • modern logistics centres with storage facilities to be set up ;
  • the further development of transport links between Asia, Russia, the CIS and Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltics.