LAST MONTH was due to see the completion of new lines totalling 100 km serving ports on Russia’s Taman peninsula. Under a national strategy to develop ports on the Azov and Black seas, RZD is building links from the Krasnodar - Kavkaz line at Vyshesteblevskaya to Taman on the southern coast and Temryuk on the Azov Sea side.

At the end of March, Railways Minister Nikolai Aksonyenko announced that work is to resume on the long-planned 8 km rail tunnel linking the island of Sakhalin with the main line. Visiting Komsomolsk na Amur in the far east, he told local railway officials that work would restart on the Tatar Straits tunnel at Cape Pogibi, on which construction was suspended in 1953.