RUSSIA: Proposals to develop a network of high speed or accelerated train services ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup are included in the Modernising Existing Rail Infrastructure strategy produced by Russian Railways’ Institute of Transport Economics & Development.

The strategy offers ‘a practical tool’ for transporting large numbers of supporters between the 64 matches in 13 cities, according to RZD President Vladimir Yakunin, as well as contributing to the overall development of rail transport.

The study identifies the need for a number of projects:

  • 300 to 400 km/h high speed services on dedicated lines from Moscow to St Petersburg and from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan, with a possible extension to Yekaterinburg.
  • 160 to 200 km/h services on the Moscow - Kharkiv - Rostov - Krasnodar - Adler route, and between Moscow and Yaroslavl.
  • Faster trains linking Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Samara, Volgograd and Kazan with each other and with Moscow, and connecting Moscow with Kaliningrad.
  • Faster international links from Moscow to Kyiv, Riga and Berlin, and from St Petersburg to Tallinn.
  • Airport rail links.
  • Development of existing interchanges in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Samara, and new hubs at Kazan, Sochi, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Krasnodar and Yaroslavl.

The aim would be to offer journey times of 2 h to 5 h where possible, with overnight services taking 8 h to 12 h on longer routes.