During the 4th international business forum Strategic Partnership 1520 the CEO of Russian Railways (RZD) Vladimir Yakunin, the General Director of the Ukraine State Railway Administration Mikhail Kostyuk, Member of the Board of Austrian Railways (OBB Holding AG) Gustav Poschalko, and Director of the Slovak State Railway Company Stefan Glinka signed a Resolution of the Steering Committee for the broad-gauge railway extension project on the startup of a JV to complete the project feasibility study.
The project aims to connect the railway systems of Central Europe to the regions crossed by the Trans-Siberian line, to attract freight shipments to the Asia – Russia – Central Europe route, and to make the railway more competitive against sea and road transport.
The broad-gauge line is to be extended from Kosice in Slovakia to the Austrian capital Vienna.
On 4 April 2008, RZD and the Austrian, Slovak and Ukrainian railway companies signed a Protocol on the commencement of pre-project studies on extending the broad-gauge line to Central Europe. The companies agreed to look into the technical and financial feasibility of making the existing infrastructure more attractive, upgrading it and building new railway lines with both narrow and broad gauges.
The project’s approximate cost is estimated at $4-5 billion, with both income and expenditure to be divided in proportion to each country’s section of the line.