A CO-OPERATION agreement was signed at the Hannover Fair on April 11 by DB Chairman Hartmut Mehdorn and RZD President Gennady Fadeyev, paving the way for the setting up of a joint venture freight company by RZD and Railion.

The accord builds on an earlier agreement announced in Berlin last September (RG 11.04 p729). The Railion-Russia joint venture will be registered as a Russian company, and is due to produce its first business plan by the end of this month. According to RZD, ’Railion-Russia will provide an integrated through service connecting Russia with Germany’, co-ordinating operations in Poland and Belarus ’on the basis of agreements with corresponding railways’.

The joint venture is expected to boost landbridge traffic between Asia and Europe, which is growing rapidly. On March 10 RZD First Deputy CEO Khasyan Zyabirov announced that international freight traffic had risen by 52·4% in the past five years, with exports up by 60% and imports by 45%. International traffic on the Trans-Siberian grew from 53·6 to 70·4 million tonnes, and North-South traffic doubled to 10 million tonnes following the launch of the dedicated corridor operation.

  • Gennady Fadeyev also signed a co-operation agreement with Siemens AG Chairman Klaus Kleinfeld in Hannover on April 11, in the presence of President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Gerhard Schr