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Huge jobs boost predicted from upgrading of key rail links in Siberia

By 0 and 0 and 0
31 July 2013


'We will invest 450 billion roubles [around $14 billion] from the National Prosperity Fund; this money is start-up capital, but I think it will make investors feel more confident to see the government taking on a share of the risk', Putin said on upgrading of the Baikal-Amur Mainline. 

The 4,324 km line runs north of the Trans Siberian route to which it connects and is seen by some policy-makers as ripe for major cargo expansion.

Upgrading of both the Trans Siberian and BAM is seen as expensive but vital if Russia is to expand its cargo capacity across its land mass. 

'In essence, the upgrading of the BAM has already begun and we hope its annual throughput capacity will go up to 50 million tons of cargos,' said President Vladimir Putin recently. 

This would be driven by 'deposits of copper and coal in Southern Yakutia and the Amur region' which 'will come on stream', he said. 'The demand of these raw materials is growing in the Asia Pacific countries'. 

The upbeat analysis of the economic advantages of the BAM expansion came from Viktor Ishayev, who is both Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Russian President's plenipotentiary in the Far-Eastern Federal District.

'Reconstruction of the railway line as such will bring up the construction of one more tunnel, electrification, construction of a second track, and the launching of operations at mechanical engineering factories,' he said. 

'This will make it possible for us to create some 200,000 new jobs for highly qualified workers. 

Other branches of the economy like trade, services, banks, the construction of new enterprises, and the banking sector will be emerging, too, and all of this will lead to the emergence of 500,000 or so new jobs'.

BAM, half a million of new jobs

BAM, half a million of new jobs

Development of the Trans-Siberian and the BAM is impossible without also developing the support infrastructure - this and other major projects is open for investment. Pictures of the Baikal-Amur mainline:

Ishayev forecast: 'The Gross Regional Product of the Far-Eastern regions will go up some 25% in practical terms.'

Putin used a recent government meeting to call on his officials to draft a programme and timetable for work to modernize the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways. He demanded that improvements to 'our country's strategically vital transport artery' are not allowed to 'vanish from the radar'.

'Rail freight traffic to our Far East ports has increased by 55 per cent over the last 5 years and now comes to around 110 million tons a year - a record figure for this part of the transport network,' he said. 

'Even during the Soviet period freight volumes were not so high on this route.'

He warned: 'This is straining the railway network to its limits, and bottlenecks have emerged on the route. This is holding back business activity in Eastern Siberia and the Far East and is limiting our potential as a transit country.

'By comprehensively developing the Trans-Siberian we aim to open up the potential of our eastern regions, help them modernise their industrial base, develop new natural resource deposits, and strengthen Russia's position as a key link in the continental transport system.

'It is clear that at the same time we also need to substantially increase the Baikal-Amur ] railway's throughput capacity. I remind you that expanding these two railways is part of the Russian railway general development plan.'

BAM, half a million of new jobs

October 29, 1979, first train of the Baikal-Amur Mainline arrives to Severobaikalsk station. Picture:

Putin stressed the need for key planning groundwork before embarking on expensive projects. 

'We need to have a clear idea of future freight transport costs, volumes and destinations now, at the planning stage,' he warned.

'Comprehensive development of the Trans-Siberian and the BAM is impossible without also developing the support infrastructure. I am talking about building new energy production units and transmission networks, ports, border crossings, approach roads and so on. All of this work also requires careful planning and calculation.'

This and other major projects is open for investment, he said. 

'The government is willing to share the risks with project participants and be a co-investor. We will invest 450 billion roubles [around $14 billion] from the National Prosperity Fund in the initial stage. We realise that 450 billion roubles is absolutely not enough to finance projects as big as these. 

'Essentially, this money is start-up capital, but I think it will make investors feel more confident to see the government taking on a share of the risk and taking the first steps in these projects.'

Comments (4)

Thanks for sharing.

Railway Jobs
Sharanya, India
29/01/2018 13:36
Great info, thank you so much for keeping up with it all, l love your article and your predictions.

Thank you for sharing and being here
Brigitta Rabold, Vancouver / Canada
09/07/2014 23:04
Siberia will lead world economy after 15 years
Sandeepan Somanathan, Alappuzha, India
09/03/2014 15:16
Fiber optics along the mainline to improve internet connection through the route is also a possibility, and also new cell phone towers etc.
Enrique, Spain
31/07/2013 08:25

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