RUSSIA: A construction agreement covering the first section of the Moscow – Kazan high speed line was announced by RZD First Deputy Director Alexander Misharin at the ProMotion 1520 conference in Sochi on October 2. The agreement calls for work to start next year on a 301 km alignment between Zheleznodorozhni in the suburbs of Moscow and Gorokhovets for opening in 2024. This would form the first part of a 770 km high speed corridor which is being developed as a public-private partnership involving Russian Railways and Chinese backers.

RZD also outlined a number of other investment plans at the event, including reconfirming plans for attended ATO to be introduced on the Moscow Central Ring suburban railway to reduce headways.

The national railway has also agreed an order with the Ural Locomotives joint venture of Siemens and Sinara for the supply of 10 2ES7 electric locomotives. These would be twin-section 25 kV 50 Hz electric locos rated at 8·4 MW, and they would be maintained by Ural Locomotives for 28 years.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between RZD, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Sojitz Corp covering investment in freight terminals at Ussuriysk in Primorsky krai in the far east and at Shushary near St Petersburg.

On funding, Misharin outlined the company’s plans to deploy novel funding models for infrastructure investment, building on the PPP structure already proposed for the Northern Latitudinal Railway. Alexander Kalinin, deputy governor of the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district, urged the creation of an open market for infrastructure bonds.