RUSSIA’s first underground airport station was officially opened on August 7, when trains began running into Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport.
RZD has been running a shuttle service from the capital’s Kievskaya station since August 2004, using 33 km of upgraded freight railway. Pending completion of the 1·5 km tunnel into the airport station, passengers were transferred to and from the airport terminals by shuttle bus.
The new station lies beneath the site of a new terminal, scheduled for completion in 2008 as Vnukovo expands to handle a projected 20 million passengers/year by 2010.
To coincide with the opening of the spur, RZD launched a dedicated hourly Air Express service, offering a journey time of 35min. Baggage check-in facilities have already been opened at Kievskaya. The service is expected to carry 2800 passengers/day at first, with traffic projected to rise from 1 million trips in 2005 to 2·4 million by the end of 2009.
- On August 6 Deputy Transport Minister Alexander Misharin, RZD President Vladmir Yakunin and Head of the Moscow Railway Vladimir Starostenko joined in ceremonies to mark the start of Sputnik express commuter services on the Moscow - Ramenskoye route. The initial service will provide 25 trains each way per day in addition to the existing stopping service.