RUSSIAN Railways needs to spend 1300bn roubles on renovation and upgrading by 2010, the RZD Board was told on March 4 at a meeting to review progress with the second phase of the reform process. It will invest 351bn in the 2004-05 financial year.

According to RZD President Gennadi Fadeyev, rail capacity must be enhanced if the country is to achieve President Putin’s objective of doubling national GDP. RZD expects to handle 2000 billion tonne-km and 179 billion passenger-km in 2010, and to achieve a 10% profit on its core activities.

Two days earlier, Fadeyev chaired a meeting to set RZD’s locomotive manufacturing strategy for 2004-10. During this period almost all main line diesels and over half of the electric locos will reach life expiry. The three-phase fleet replacement strategy envisages selecting manufacturers in 2004-06, testing prototype locos and restructuring the maintenance regime in 2007-09 and starting full-scale production in 2009-10.

  • Visiting Khabarovsk on February 26, President Putin discussed plans to assist with renovation of the Trans-Korean railway and called for improvements to the rail network serving Russia’s Far East. Projects being progressed by RZD include a second bridge over the Amur river at Khabarovsk and conversion of the 1067mm gauge network on Sakhalin to 1520mm at a cost of 15·5bn roubles. Fadeyev pledged 2·8bn for regauging this year, and said a new contractor would be appointed shortly.