Vedomosti: Yekaterinburg-Moscow High Speed Railway Project Is Doubted

2 March 2012 (10:17)

The construction of a high-speed railway link between Moscow and Yekaterinburg is an uncertain project. The Russian Rail cannot decide yet whether there will be passengers willing to use the road, Vedomosti reports.

The Director of Russian Railways’ daughter enterprise High-Speed Railways Denis Muratov promises in the fall of 2011 that the tender aimed at choosing the contractor for the project would be held in December 2012. According to his estimates, the construction of a 1,595-km road from Moscow through Nizhniy Novgorod and Kazan to Yekaterinburg would cost 1.5 trillion RUR. The trip would take a maximum of eight hours rather than the current twenty-six hours.

However, the final decision regarding the construction of the high-speed railway link to Yekaterinburg has not been made yet, two informants in Russian Railways told Vedomosti. At the moment, they are working on explaining the need for investment in the project, so the decision will depend on the results of this work, says a source close to High-Speed Railways.

Both the representatives of Russian Railways and of High-Speed Railways refused to make any comment; so did an official from the Transport Ministry.

The key factor in making this decision is the passenger traffic, Vedomosti’s informants point out. The potential passenger traffic between Moscow and Yekaterinburg was estimated at 10 to 13 million people a year. This is in contrast to 1.7m people who fly from one city to another and back every year, a representative of Yekaterinburg’s Koltsovo Airport says. Yet it was not announced how many passengers use the Russian Rail to travel between Moscow and Yekaterinburg.

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