With railways having always been of vital strategic importance in Russia, due to its vast area, plans are underway for the construction of a new railway connecting China with Europe as it passes through Kazakhstan and Russia.
This massive infrastructure development dovetails with China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.
Russian rail services have already experienced an increased productivity by over one third during the past five years. This new project will employ modern digital technologies and logistical operations.
It will also provide transport to football fans to World Championship competitions on a complimentary basis during the upcoming summer.
The following clip is taken from Russian TV news with transcript below.
Big transport projects will lead to the development of various areas. Today, Vladimir Putin spoke about the role of railways in the economy. The President intervened at the Railway Congress which discussed the development of this form of transport for the upcoming decades. Prior to this, the head of state visited one of the Moscow depots.
He saw the new trains, spoke with the car attendants, locomotive drivers, track patrol-people about the blacklists for troublemakers, retirement age, and about not confusing sport with spirit.
These machines literally don’t stand in one place. Maybe, they only stand still for maintenance work in the Kievsky depot in Moscow, where more than 40 trains are put together, including these Strizh trains. They’re developing at a fantastic pace.
Every passenger dreams of sitting in these cars: comfortable seats which can be adjusted even like this; lights, plugs, Wi-Fi. A trip on this train is bound to be comfortable. The easy chairs in the coaches of the trains going from Moscow to Berlin are shown to the President.
These double-deck coaches also set a new comfort standard. By the way, they are all assembled in Tver. This one is dedicated to passengers with children. There’s a playground. There’s a special state-room for mobility impaired passengers. There’s also a modern dining car.
Railways have always been of strategic importance for Russia with its vast territory. The depot staff swamped the President with questions about the future of the field.
“Were we to have a more powerful railway like the Trans-Siberian Railway, more coal-extracting enterprises would be launched immediately, as well as the beginning of cargo transportation to Far-Eastern harbors. Trade is developing rapidly in the East, and we need these capacities there. So we’ll do it.”
Putin expanded this idea at the Railway Congress. The roadmap implies that more ambitious plans are in the works. Railways to North-Western, Southern and Far-Eastern harbors, building a bridge to Sakhalin and the Northern Latitudinal Railway in the Arctic, and, of course, a high-speed railway from China to Europe via Kazakhstan and Russia. It’s an ideal trade route, a prospect and an impetus.
“It means the modernization of management at railways, and more effective methods of train operations and new, modern logistics services. To achieve this, it is necessary to use digital technology on a broader scale and put a premium on domestic developments and competitive, domestic software in introducing such decisions.”
They are already being introduced. In the Kievsky depot, the President was shown an automatic system to change wheel pair width. So now, the trains that go to Europe, where the rail gage is narrower, don’t have to change their wheels. Russian factories can also produce trains for the future Moscow Central Diameter. A high-speed railway from Moscow to Kazan will soon appear. Tula wants the same.
Alexei Dyumin, Tula Region governor:
“We joined the project dedicated to the railway section from Moscow to Adler. The first point of this section will be from Moscow to Tula. And the Tula Region is one of the first participants in this project.”
Oleg Belozerov, Russian Railways president:
“We’ll apply various components to meet the demand which is over 250-350 kmph, or under 200 kmph in some places.”
Next summer, football fans will appreciate the comfort of the trains going to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kazan. Russian Railways will take them to the World Championship matches for free.
The President notes that the productivity of the Russian Railways has grown by one third over the past 5 years. He was also asked what the most important thing for the country would be.
“What was the most important event for our country in 2017?”
“Our economy got out of the recession and entered the sustainable growth stage. Salaries have been steadily growing by about 3% in real terms. Maybe people don’t feel it at once because the situation differs per region. But in general, economic growth is reflected in the people’s real income. The year was successful.”