Head of Russian Railways Proposes High-Speed Cargo Trains from Europe to China
Dec. 21, 2016 (EIRNS)—The president of Russian Railways, Oleg Belozerov, proposed a high-speed cargo railway connection between Europe and China, allowing transport of goods to take as little as two days.
Belozerov told a United Russia party meeting.
In an earlier report, Russian Railways spoke of working on the concept of a cargo train capable of carrying from 300 to 600 tons of cargo at a speed up to 300 kph.
The cargo line will be part of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway, whose construction should begin in 2017, Belozerov said. With a distance of some 770 kilometers, and a speed of of 350-400 kph, the rail route will cut the time between the two cities to as little as 3-3.5 hours; the current time is 14 hours. The line could be commissioned before 2022-2023.
The $16.8 billion railway project could later be extended to China, connecting the two countries across Kazakhstan. The Moscow-Beijing railroad will be 7,769 kilometers, with a travel time of 32.8 hours—four times faster than the current 130.4 hours. The average annual passenger traffic is estimated at 195 million people.
China is committed to providing $6.5 billion as a credit for 20 years and $1.6 billion as a contribution to the charter capital of the special-project company. The German Initiative Consortium (includes Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bahn, and other companies) is ready to allocate €2.7 billion to finance the construction of the high-speed railway line and to attract up to €800 million for the project.