Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Russia and China consider high speed rail pact

Written by 

Russia and China signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday on “developing high speed and very high speed rail links in the territory of the Russian Federation.”

The agreement came out of talks in Beijing between theRussian and Chinese premiers, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin, Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin, and Chinese Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun.

“The purpose of the memorandum is to study and elaborate the issue of cooperation in reconstructing existing rail lines in order to improve speeds, and constructing high-speed and very high-speed routes,” said an announcement by Russian Railways. “This document is aimed at broadening the Russian-Chinese partnership. In line with the memorandum, a joint working group of qualified specialists from both sides will be created by Dec. 1, 2009.”

On June 17, 2008, Russian Prime Minister Putin signed the Strategy for Developing Rail Transport up to 2030. One goal in implementing this strategy is to develop high speed (up to 100 mph) and very high speed (up to 215 mph) passenger rail transportation.

“In line with the strategy,” said Russian Railways, “the total length of high speed passenger rail track in Russia will be increased by almost 17 times over the next 20 years, from 650 to 10,887 km. Also, additional trunk lines are planned to be built on various routes, able to carry ordinary freight, passenger trains, and suburban trains, with special tracks for high speed trains.”