High-Speed Train Between Capitals to Cost $35.1Bln
Published: May 30, 2012 (Issue # 1710)
A high-speed railway project between Moscow and St. Petersburg is ready for realization, said Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russian Railways.
When the new route opens, which is planned to coincide with Russia’s hosting of the 2018 World Cup, the trip between Moscow and St. Petersburg will take just 2.5 hours.
According to the company’s estimations, by the 2018 World Cup the passenger flow between St. Petersburg, Moscow and other cities in which World Cup matches will be held including Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Yekaterinburg, will total 8.6 million people, the Internet news website Fontanka.ru reported.
The tender for the construction and operation of the new high-speed railroad will be announced in September. The results of the tender will be announced in 2013 while the construction is to be completed in 2018.
Over five years the builders of the new railroad will lay down 658 kilometers of new rails specially made for trains that travel at speeds of 400 kilometers an hour. The distance currently covered by high-speed Sapsan trains in 3 hours 45 minutes will subsequently be cut down to 2.5 hours. Yakunin said the new road would be the primary way to transport fans to the 2018 World Cup.
The new high-speed road between Moscow and St. Petersburg will cost 1.125 trillion rubles ($35.1 billion). At least 70 percent of that sum will come from the state budget, while 30 percent is to come from a private investor, Fontanka reported.
In total Russian Railways plans to spend 2.5 trillion rubles ($78 billion) on the high-speed railway program between 2012 and 2020, extending high-speed routes beyond the country’s two capitals. The total distance of Russian’s high-speed railway could reach 4,300 kilometers by 2020.
It is not yet clear where exactly the high-speed trains will arrive and depart from in St. Petersburg. Deputy-Governor Sergei Vyazalov said at a meeting of the Transportation Council in April that the Moscow Railway Station was not ready to receive such large passenger volumes. To solve the problem, Vyazalov suggested altering the station’s regional train routes, as well as some long distance trains, rerouting them to Ladozhsky and Baltiisky railway stations. He also proposed building a new terminal for high-speed trains. The new railway station would not be located in the city center, but near one of the metro stations on the outskirts of the city.
The building of a new train station, however, is not only considered more expensive, but could also lead to the collapse of the city’s traffic infrastructure in the southern part of St. Petersburg. The city plans to make a decision concerning what to do with the new trains by the end of this year, Fontanka reported.