Monday, December 18, 2017

Putin puts focus on high-speed rail development

The cabinet of ministers and the state railway corporation RZD have been ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin to draw up a clear-cut plan for developing high-speed railway communications in Russia to specific priority areas and begin practical work.

"It's important for us, for society and for the whole country to have a clear realization right in front of our eyes as regards what will be done, who will do it, how fast this will be done, and naturally who the contractor will be," Putin said, Itar-Tass reports. "Implementation of the Sapsan project showed that we can really do it and that's why it's important for us to concentrate efforts and to mobilize resources for this purpose."

Putin also demanded that RZD simulate the impact the construction of high-speed rail could exert on people living in different parts of the country. Putin disagrees with RZD President Vladimir Yakunin who said that the launch of high-speed Sapsan trains had effected the lives of citizens in the city of Vladimir.

"Life turned out to be different for the people of different categories," Sapsan said, according to Itar-Tass. "Take those who used suburban train services previously. The suburban trains have been slashed because of the Sapsan, and these people's lives haven't become any better."

"That's why it's important to think about different categories of passengers in advance," Putin said, according to Itar-Tass.

Yakunin referenced the high-speed service between Moscow and St. Petersburg, which has already been implemented.

"I really love both Moscow and St. Petersburg but we need other cities, too," Putin answered, according to Itar-Tass.

RZD is considering high-speed services on the Moscow-Nizhny Novrogord-Kazan-Yekaterinburg, Moscow-Yaroslavl, and Moscow-Sochi lines, with the trains reaching speeds of up to 124 mph there. The project is part of preparations for the 2018 World Cup.