DURING a visit to Yakutsk by President Putin on January 6, RZD President Vladimir Yakunin signed a co-operation accord with V Shimokhin, President of the regionally-owned Yakutsk Railway Co, supporting further construction of the Berkakit - Tommot - Yakutsk railway.

RZD has already contributed 2m roubles towards the estimated 11m cost of the 830 km line. Yakukin hopes to attract funding from investors interested in developing the region’s mineral reserves, notably the Elgin coalfield which could generate around 30 million tonnes a year for the Baikal-Amur Magistral.