Following on from last week’s announcements on the rail and intermodal projects that are to receive TIGER funding from the U.S. government the Russian rail operator, RZD, has given its figures for intended investment over the next year in the national rail infrastructure.
At a meeting held in Sochi on Saturday, and chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, RZD President Vladimir Yakunin laid out details for the company’s plans for their 2010 - 2011 investment budget of 555 billion rubles (18.5 billion dollars / 12.14 billion pounds).
The money will largely be spent on upgrading and maintenance, with major repairs and reconstruction work to be carried out on more than 20,000 kilometers of track, with 3,200 kms to be totally reconstructed. In additional some 72 billion rubles (2.4 billion dollars) will be used to buy new rolling stock.
To give an idea of the scale of the proposed investment the American TIGER programme, which was spread across rail, road and port investments, as well as passenger transport projects, was for the much lower total of $1.5 billion.
RZD has already announced ambitious plans, its ‘2030 programme’, that it hopes will make rail freight transit via Russia a highly viable alternative to ocean freight on the Asia – European trade routes. The company states that by 2012 a freight container will be able to transit the entire width of the country in seven days which, as further improvements to the rail network come online, are expected to massively increase the amount of freight haulage that RZD undertakes.
(Source: RZD : www.eng.rzd.ru)