Russian Railways JSC opened for business on 1 October 2003 in accordance with the decree issued by the Russian Federal Government on 18 September 2003.
The founding of a joint-stock company owned by the Ministry of Railways was one of the key planks in the execution of the government’s structural reform programme for rail transport. The company’s equity is 100%-owned by the Russian Federal Government.
Since its founding, RZD has ably catered to the country’s needs in terms of passenger and freight transport, and has built and modernised its own production units in accordance with the allotted timescale.
In the 10 years since its founding, RZD has carried over 14 billion tonnes of goods and over 11.5 billion passengers.
RZD’s share in overall freight transport volumes in Russia has increased from 39.5% in 2004 to 44% in 2012.
The Russian railway reform’s most notable achievement has been to reduce transport costs for industrial production.
Since its founding, the company has systematically responded to the need for greater efficiency in the transport process. The number of wagons in its freight fleet increased by 33.8% over this period, and now totals 1,180,000 units, whilst freight traffic grew by 150% (including empty runs).
During the rail restructuring process, RZD Holding’s share of the wagon-operator market shrank from 65.7% in 2003 to 18.1%, according to the results for the first half of 2013. More than 1900 privately-owned wagons (not belonging to RZD) currently operate on the Russian network.
The company’s profits since 2003 have totalled more than 10 trillion roubles. RZD’s unified credit rating allows the company to fund its investment plans by borrowing on domestic and foreign capital markets.
Between 2003 and 2013, RZD spent 3.1 trillion roubles (4.3 trillion roubles at 2013 values) on developing and modernising its fixed assets. Over this period, there has been over 1700 km of new lines built and double-tracking performed, as well as over 1600 km of in-station track installed. Almost 1400 km of track has been electrified and 17508.5 km renewed.
Over the past decade, a host of major projects have been run under RZD’s investment programme. These have focused on the development and renewal of infrastructure, principally on the major transit and export routes which carry huge volumes of cargo in the direction of the seaports of Murmansk, the Baltic Sea, the Far East, and the Black and Azov Seas.
“Complexes” have been developed for the routes Kuzbass – North-West, Kuzbass – Far East Transport Hub, and Kuzbass – Black & Azov Sea Transport Hub; for the carriage of oil to China (phase 1); and for the electrification of the Syzran – Senna section, where a second mainline is being built.
High speed rail projects have gone ahead on the routes Moscow – Mytishchi – Pushkin, Moscow – Lyubertsy – Ramenskoye, Moscow-Belarusskaya – Sheremetyevo, Saint-Petersburg – Moscow – Kolpino, and Ekaterinburg – Koltsovo Airport .
Very high speed rail has also been introduced: “Sapsan” trains from Moscow – Saint-Petersburg and Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod, as well as “Allegro” trains between Saint-Petersburg and Helsinki, and “Lastotchka” trains on routes from Saint-Petersburg – Veliky Novgorod and Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod.
In line with the government’s Olympic site programme and its urban development plan for Sochi as a mountain resort, RZD is in charge of executing a series of projects.
In preparing Sochi’s railway infrastructure for the Winter Olympics, RZD has opened an intermodal line from Sochi – Adler – Sochi airport. In order to provide transport for the APEC summit in Vladivostok, work on the Vladivostok - Knevichi airport link is now completed. In 2013, for the Summer Universiade (University Games), a rail line was built connecting Kazan to the international airport.
In 2011, the Novorossyisk tunnel system was reopened following reconstruction. In 2012, the Kouznetsov tunnel was opened as part of work to rebuild the line from Komsomol-on-Amur – Sovietskaya Gavan, by which freight transits to transport hub Vanino – Sovgavanski. This work significantly boosted the rail throughput capacity.
Since 2003, RZD has invested 585.8 billion roubles from its investment budget in rolling stock renewals, including 118.7 billion roubles this year. 2967 locomotives have been bought and 6767 wagons upgraded. By the end of this year, the company’s traction vehicle fleet will be boosted by another 803 new electric and diesel locomotives. Equally, over the last 10 years 4445 railcars and 3049 coaches have been acquired. 2714 coaches and 1368 traction vehicles have been modernised.
The company’s top priority throughout has been to consolidate its position on the international transport market. RZD is ably performing its duties in its overseas infrastructure projects, and is also extending its international projects.
In September 2013, the rebuilt line from Khasan (RF) – Rason (DPRK) was opened, thus becoming the shortest route between East Asia and Europe.
Prior to that, a rail-sail line opened on the route from Sassnitz – Ust-Luga.
In order to develop high speed passenger rail services, 2013 saw the start of work to boost investment in very high speed rail links between Moscow – Kazan and Moscow – Adler.
RZD’s investment budget is currently funding projects to develop railway infrastructure in the “Eastern Polygon”. Spending between 2013 and 2016 is set to represent 562.4 billion roubles, of which 260.2 billion is to be provided by the federal budget.
(Source: JSC Russian Railways)