Координационный Совет по Транссибирским перевозкам
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Russia invests EUR 227 Million by 2015 in developing container transport on Trans-Siberian railway (interview with Gennady Bessonov) 20.05.2014 22:23

1. At the beginning of the year, Russian authorities announced investments of around EUR 6.5 Billion by 2017 in the modernization of the Baikal-Amur (BAM) and Trans-Siberian railways. More exactly, five sections of the Trans-Siberian will be rehabilitated. What benefits do these investments bring to both local and international traffic?

Developing the East operating domain of Russian Railways, primarily the Trans-Siberian Mainline (TSM) and the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), is the infrastructure priority, due to expanding market for intercontinental freight transport and logistics services and the trend for big West European, US and Japanese companies to move their manufacturing and industry to China, Indonesia and other Asian countries. RZD OAO is actively preparing for an increase in freight volumes, especially in the Far East. In the view of growing freight traffic we rely largely on the Trans-Siberian Mainline as part of the East-West transit corridor.

Last year Russian government approved RZD’s programme of modernization of the Trans-Siberian Mainline (TSM) and Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) by 2020 worth 562 billion roubles, 302 and 260 billion to have been invested by RZD and state sources respectively. Today RZD estimate the total cost of the TSM and BAM modernization programme at 1.2 trillion roubles. The updated project regards the freight flows from Kuzbass and the forecast more than double growth by 2020 to 71.8 million tonnes.

BAM neighbouring regions host more than 25% of Russia’s lead, copper and vanadium deposits and more than half of zinc reserves. BAM and Transsib modernization will provide the capacities, necessary for further development of extracting industry in the regions.

Elimination of bottlenecks, increase in capacities and reduction of traffic load on infrastructure will ameliorate business activity in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, improve their transit capabilities and contribute to realizing transit traffic opportunities of Russia in general. Through traffic from Asia to Europe will partly shift from the sea route to the rail one, the delivery time of the latter being about three times less.

2. Can you tell us a few words about the cooperation protocol that the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation (CCTT) and Russian Railways (RZD) signed in order to improve traffic on the Trans-Siberian route by 2020?

RZD is one of the major founders of the CCTT, which is constantly working within its objectives towards increasing the competitiveness of Trans-Siberian transportation and searching for coordinated approaches to its development, aiming for the Trans-Siberian route achieving a leading position in the global freight transport market. The CCTT take are involved in developing a set of long-term measures to TSR freight transport commercially attractive and cost efficient, as well as to maximize the efficiency of interaction between all parties in the logistics chain. These activities provide for a comprehensive approach to developing Trans-Siberian container services, involving railways, sea legs and ports, featuring freight forwarders and freight forwarders’ associations of Europe, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Austria. They also include steps towards establishing a competitive rate for foreign trade and transit shipments, improving TSR foreign trade and transit shipment logistics, and refining the principles of cooperation between CCTT member railways, freight forwarders and operators on the TSR freight-attracting activities. The CCTT also internationally coordinate the activities of parties involved in Trans-Siberian transportation (to ensure on-time delivery and safety of cargo) and provide information support for transport services.

Our events and activities are focused on the key aspects of freight transport development, such as introducing new logistic solutions and management schemes, wide use of advanced technologies and attracting investments into innovative business projects. The decisions taken by CCTT members are used by RZD as a basis for their long-term development concepts and concrete steps to solve the problems of the ever-changing market for transport services.   

For instance, RZD’s Programme for the Development of Container Transport on the Trans-Siberian Route for the Period Until 2015, adopted in June 2009, was based on the decisions of the previous Plenary Meetings of the CCTT. The investments into the budget for implementing this programme until 2015 total about 11 billion roubles.

Transsib in 7 Days is an innovative transport project developed and launched as part of the programme,  which will makes a 7-day delivery time and 1500 km per day block speed  possible for freight trains running from Far East ports of Russia to the western borders.

We presume that increasing transit traffic is possible only through adopting block container train technologies, providing for a fixed train schedule and block speed of over 1200 km per day. The time of delivery from northeast provinces of China, the Republic of Korea and Japan to Europe must not exceed 17-20 days, provided that the difference between the prices for rail and sea do not exceed 1000 USD.

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