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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 Russias hosting of the 2018 World Cup, the trip between Moscow and St. Petersburg will take just 2.5 hours.

According to the companys 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 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 countrys two capitals. The total distance of Russians 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 stations 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 citys 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.



Friday, Aug. 22

Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.

Saturday, Aug. 23

Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.

Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.

Sunday, Aug. 24

The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.

Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.

Monday, Aug. 25

Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.

Tuesday, Aug. 26

Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.

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