First high-speed rail mainline in Russia to connect Moscow and Kazan

Posted: 28 May 2013 | | No comments yet

“High-speed rail equipment, its infrastructure are absolute 21st century elements…”

Russian President Vladimir Putin held the conference ‘On the High-Speed Rail Development Prospects in the Russian Federation’ involving top federal and regional officials, financial executives, and JSC “RZD” President Vladimir Yakunin. The conference participants discussed prospects of establishing the designated high-speed rail mainlines in Russia, and possible funds allocations for mainlines planning and project development.

“High-speed rail equipment, its infrastructure are absolute 21st century elements. Constructing such lines is one proof of any nation’s high technology, engineering and investment capabilities”, said Vladimir Putin.

The President pointed out that many countries including Japan, China, France and others intensify their high-speed transit significantly raising actual railway carrying capacities, stimulating population mobility and unclogging airports. The speed and high-speed transport needs to be developed in Russia as well.

“It’s important that we do it integrally and gradually; assessing economic viability we need to select the kind of transport that would be most efficient down certain routes, and what solutions would be the best choice for the national transport system as a whole”, said Vladimir Putin.

According to him, today several high-speed mainline destinations are under consideration. The Moscow-Kazan route is one of them. One more is Moscow – Rostov-on-Don – Adler.

The head of State emphasized that the high-speed transport development needs to be accompanied by solid investment into the traffic safety including antiterrorism security, technological and fire safety. And tickets for high-speed transport should be affordable for people.

“We recommend to explore a possibility of building the Moscow – Vladimir – Nizhniy Novgorod – Kazan line as the project’s first stage; it will be a 803 kilometer high-speed mainline running through six Russian constituent territories: Moscow, the Moscow region, Vladimir region, Nizhniy Novgorod regions, Tatarstan and Udmurtia. Further developing the line means joining the Urals and the Volga river basin”, said RZD President Vladimir Yakunin in his presentation.

Launching the portion would cut the Moscow-Kazan travel time four times, to 3.5 hours, while the travel time between Nizhniy Novgorod and Kazan would reduce seven times – from 10 hours 32 minutes today to 1 hour 37 minutes. With that Vladimir, Cheboksary, Naberezhniye Chelny and near territories would be in close proximity to megalopolises. The cost would vary from 1 to 10 rubles per km making the trip available for most passengers.

“High-speed mainline is a crucially new technology intensive facility that needs skilled staff and complex equipment for project designing, construction, fitting-out and operation”, stressed Vladimir Yakunin. According to him, the project implementation needs developing the Russian Federation-based production capacities both for building the infrastructure and for manufacturing and maintenance of the rolling stock.

“We estimate that establishing the Moscow – Kazan line Russian businesses would get over 270 billion rubles worth of orders for construction products only and up to 100 billion rubles for equipment and line infrastructure development. Like machines, energy equipment, automation and connections systems”, said Vladimir Yakunin.

Speaking about high-speed line financing, he pointed out that international practices and mathematic representations prove the public-private partnership to be the most effective one with the state investing 70% of the necessary funds and private businesses investing 30%. So the total cost of the Moscow – Kazan mainline construction could be up to 928 billion rubles while the state grant would be 650 billion rubles.

Summarizing the results the conference decided on establishing a workgroup under the Russian Government for defining the priority destination, elaborating its implementation model and financing sources as well as allocating funds for feasibility studies.

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