Sverdlovsk Region Railways to become minor investor

29 December 2010 (10:48)

Russian Railways Public Company can only provide 30% of the total cost of building a high-speed railway between Yekaterinburg and Nizhniy Tagil and only 3% of the total cost of building a Yekaterinburg-Chelyabinsk Railway to make sure they can break even, head of Sverdlovsk Region Railways Vladimir Suprun announced at the end-of-year press conference in Yekaterinburg.

‘Our final aim is to make sure trains can go at 160 kilometers an hour, which will mean that one can get to Chelyabinsk in three hours and to Nizhniy Tagil in 1.5 hours. It has been preliminarily estimated that putting up high-speed railways between Yekaterinburg and Nizhniy Tagil and between Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk will cost 19 billon RUR and 22 billion RUR, respectively. The question is, who will finance these projects? It has been calculated that to make sure Russian Railways break even on a project, co-financing is needed. If the company provides 100% of the money needed, the project will naturally turn out extremely inefficient,’ Suprun explained.

‘Sverdlovsk Region Railways’ share of investment was calculated proportionally. In fact, we’d have to spend less on the Yekaterinburg-Chelyabinsk railway,’ he added.

‘We’ll have to look into all this issues into more detail. Obviously, both Russian Railways and private investors need to contribute to the project , as well as the federal constituencies whose territories are involved. Unfortunately, we’ve got no investors to speak of right now,’ the executive said.

According to Vladimir Suprun, Governor of Sverdlovsk Region Alexander Misharin suggested at the Russian Railways meeting the other day that they should consider introducing high-speed railways not only between Yekaterinburg and Nizhniy Tagil or Chelyabinsk. Given the upcoming World Cup 2018, he believes it might be expedient to put up such a railway connecting Yekaterinburg and Irkutsk.

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