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Moscow to Krasnoyarsk in twelve hours..?

By 0 and 0 and 0
02 August 2013


A four fold cut in the rail time to Krasnoyarsk, might see a future rail journey taking less than 13 hours instead of 51 hours as at present. Picture: The SIberian Times

The world famous Trans Siberian Railway will get a high speed link on its first sector from Moscow to the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan, reducing the journey time four fold to just three and a half hours. The announcement was expected and is costed at $28 billion.

But Vladimir Putin hinted at extending the connection eastward as far as Krasnoyarsk, a journey that now takes more than two full days. 

Under such a scenario, the unofficial capital of Siberia, Novosibirsk, now 41 hours from Moscow by rail, and slightly further from the Russian capital in an easterly direction than London is to the west, could be a ten hour train ride away.

'The Moscow-Kazan line would be just the first step,' said the Russian president. 

The first passengers could be travelling in 2018 in time for the FIFA World Cup Finals. 

'It could serve as the pilot project for a future rail link connecting Central Russia, the Volga region and the Urals. We would have to think it through and calculate the economic costs, but perhaps we could even continue the line onwards, right on to Krasnoyarsk. 

'I know that such lines are effective, today at least, only for journeys lasting around 8 hours, but we would need to calculate the passenger flows between Siberian cities, where there could certainly be high demand for these rail links.'

A four fold cut in the rail time to Krasnoyarsk, might see a future rail journey taking less than 13 hours instead of 51 hours as at present. 

Such a project would see Siberia shrinking. 

Moscow to Krasnoyarsk in 12 hours?

We might not need sleepers anymore en route from Moscow to Siberia. Picture: The Russian Railways

Potentially, the romance of the Trans Siberian Railway would be crammed into a much shorter timescale. But it could be a business boom for Siberia.

If in the distant future, a four-fold reduction in rail time was achieved for the entire route, then Vladivostok would be only two days from Moscow instead of the current eight. For now it is a visionary blueprint which could be realised only if the first stage from Moscow to Kazan is successful and backed by investors. 

The plan was unveiled soon after details were given for the improvement of the Baikal Amur Mainline where the accent is on transit cargo rather than passengers as a money raiser for the future.

Putin stressed the need for 'a clear legal, organisational and financial implementation plan. We also need to start forecasting right now the passenger flows on the Moscow-Kazan route, estimate the railway's potential traffic volumes, and come up with an effective and flexible pricing policy that would ensure competitive and affordable ticket prices for passengers. 

'Only with this kind of information at hand, with clear forecasts of the project's future revenues and returns, and a clear understanding of the possible risks involved, will the investors start to come. 

'Organising project financing is another important task, the key task really. We agreed that we would use part of the resources in the National Prosperity Fund to help resolve key infrastructure issues, including construction of the Moscow-Kazan railway'.

Moscow to Krasnoyarsk in 12 hours?

If in the distant future, a four-fold reduction in rail time was achieved for the entire route, then Vladivostok would be only two days from Moscow instead of the current eight. Picture: The Russian Railways

Putin stressed: 'I want to get a clear picture of the necessary conditions and timeframe for the financing, what will be done to attract private investment, how return of invested funds will be guaranteed, how long this is expected to take, whether or not additional state support will be required, and how much. 

'The timeframe question is a separate matter. We need to look at what other countries are doing, because this is a project with a very long cycle, and we must be realistic in our plans.

'We must settle these matters as soon as possible in order to earmark funding for the project in the budgets for 2014 and the subsequent budget-planning period. We should also not delay with choosing a project operator.

'I know that Russian Railways proposes establishing a joint venture that would see the High-Speed Railways company join with state and private investors to commission the design and construction of the Moscow-Kazan railway's infrastructure. 

'We will discuss this option today, and we will also look at the mechanisms for raising state and private investment to establish the company itself, including with the development institutions' help.'

He emphasised the need to avoid land speculation along the line of the new route. 'I very much hope that we can avoid any swindling here, so that no one rushes out now to buy up land and then sell it back later to the state at an exorbitant price. Regional chiefs should prevent this'. 

Comments (6)

Non -constructive criticism is a plague on progress, an obstacle to prosperity and wealth for so many.

Those that make these negative comments usually have their own hidden selfish agendas.

Let's hear constructive criticism! e.g. Ways of speeding up these projects ,genuine reasons on how to improve on this plan. Inscribe in project contracts that a certain percentage of locals must be employed etc etc.

To the negative critics,its very difficult to sleep and relax with an empty stomach ,it's very difficult to pay the bills with no job .It would have been impossible for you to write such an article on the web if we all thought like you . Like it or not this world has been expanding at a terrific rate since time began, It is the same with life ,look at evolution , if you don't adapt you won't survive, it really is that simple .
Patrick, Perth Australia
14/11/2013 17:43
- 18 aug - Tour club invite visit Krasnoyarsk airshow and do calm hunting. Start 9.30 krastime 18 aug from down town. 2013 year wet wheather is a good time for calm hunting (gather mushrooms). inbox me and send cell phone nmbr
rus, Krasnoyarsk
17/08/2013 22:32
Ekaterinburg would be just 6 hours from Krasnoyarsk and 12 hours to Khabarovsk..
Enrique, Spain
02/08/2013 20:17
Mao, it depends for what purpose. For tourism, the traditional Trans-Siberian route will continue, but for other purposes like visiting family or for business, iHigh-Speed Railways are necessary as the travel is not as important as the end, and every hour and day count.
Enrique, Spain
02/08/2013 20:10
If you need to get from Kazan to Moscow in a hurry won't you just use an aeroplane? And the freight traffic doesn't go on high speed lines anyway, so I would just spend the money on roads and rail lines where there isn't any. Extend the Yakutsk rail line all the way up to Tiksi for example.
petr, Listvyanka
02/08/2013 16:13
It would be a shame. When the rest of the world is in a hurry, it'snice to take time n Russia. Just because the world speeds up, it doesn't mean we all have to. People need to realise we can't have everything NOW or travel to the otherside of the world with the click of a finger. It's not right. People who are forever claiming they 'don't have time' have forgotten to take time to enjoy time.
Mao Oliver-Semenov, Krasnoyarsk
02/08/2013 13:45

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