Oleg Belozerov, Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of OJSC Russian Railways, addressed the opening of the III Railway Congress now being held in Moscow.
Belozerov summed up the key results of the Company’s activities over the past six years since the last Congress and outlined the main directions for its further development until 2025. These are aimed at achieving the goal set by the President of Russia: to achieve GDP increases above the global economic growth rate.
The Managing Director of OJSC Russian Railways noted that an unconditional priority would be the rapid development of the country’s transport infrastructure. At the same time, an important component will be new large-scale construction.
“The most important thing is that in the coming years, the railway will come to those regions where it has never previously existed,” said Belozerov.
In the first instance, this applies to the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway, one of Russia’s largest Arctic projects. In addition, a transport link to the island of Sakhalin will be the logical extension of the ongoing modernisation of the railway system in Russia’s Far Eastern region.
According to Oleg Belozerov, the above projects are expected to be financed from the Company’s own funds and credit resources.
“The total investment in the development of rail transport will amount to about 7.7 trillion roubles by 2025,” stressed the Managing Director.
Oleg Belozerov also emphasised that on the passenger side, in addition to high speeds, comfortable conditions and mobile services, there should be a “seamless” interaction between all modes of transport so that transfers between trains, planes, city transport and private cars will become as convenient as possible. To this end, said Belozerov, it was necessary to pursue the active integration into the urban transport networks.
“I believe that the example of the Moscow Central Ring can be extended to all of Russia major conglomerations. Our new joint project with the Moscow government – the Moscow Central Diameters – will take the integration of railways in the urban environment up to a new level,” said Oleg Belozerov.
The head of the RZD Holding went on to stress the need to develop a new look for the railway stations and change the approaches to the renewal of rolling stock and the rapid development of high-speed services.
“By 2025, the annual number of passengers travelling on high-speed trains will approach 25 million,” said the Managing Director.
The head of Russian Railways also noted that the key element in the development should be the Eurasia high-speed freight and passenger main line, which will allow Russia to occupy a worthy place on the world map of the logistics routes of the future.
“Freight transportation is a very important priority for us. We estimate that loading volumes will increase by 300 million tons by 2025,” Oleg Belozerov said.
The Managing Director discussed separately the issue of innovation in the transport industry. Two projects were presented as examples, the Digital Railway project and the launch of the digital platform Freight Transportation in test mode.
“Ultimately, we will create a digital model of railway management which will increase the efficiency of the entire rail complex, and if we look even further – to 2050 – we propose to form a digital model of the country’s entire transport system,” Oleg Belozerov said.
In the course of his speech, the head of Russian Railways also spoke about the plan to focus greater attention on environmental issues. The proportion of CO2 emissions caused by rail today is already less than 2% of the total emissions from the transport sector. Nevertheless, the Holding is working on new types of railway equipment and, in particular, the use of alternative fuels.
"Our duty is to make the railways home for “green developments,” he stressed.
The Managing Director thanked the Company’s staff for the great contribution they had made to the development of the Holding and stressed that Russian Railways guarantees to raise wages above inflation by increasing labour productivity: by 2025, salaries will exceed the Russian national average by 35%.