Speaking remotely at a meeting of Russian Railways on Dec. 15 at the Fourth Railway Congress, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would be initiating a network of high-speed rail throughout the nation, eventually uniting the new areas of Lugansk and Donetsk with the motherland by high-speed rail. One of the first links would be between Moscow and St. Petersburg. “The coming decade will be a decade of big construction, big projects for our country, including on the railway, projects that are significant not only for Russia, but also for throughout Eurasia,” Putin said.
He noted in particular routes that should connect the Russian capital with Minsk, Belarus, with Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, and Rostov-on-Don, making the Black Sea resorts more accessible to people. “In Russia we are developing the international North-South corridor. It will connect Russian ports on the Baltic with ports on the coast of the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, as well as the Murmansk transport hub, one of our most important supporting hubs in the Arctic, the capacity of which we will also definitely increase.
“Along the entire route—from Murmansk to Iranian Bandar Abbas—it will be ensured, as specialists say, seamless railway communication on standard ‘1520’ broad gauge. Delivery of goods from Murmansk to Mumbai will take about 15 days. Compared to traditional routes, travel time will be reduced by four times,” he said.
Putin also explained that there would also be a meridian from North to South which would pass through the Urals and Siberia. This would include the modernization of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, including the West Siberian Railroad on the territory of Omsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo and Tomsk regions, and the Altai region.