Monday, March 01, 2010

Russian Railways seeks new investment capital

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Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting in Sochi Feb. 27 at which Russian Railways (RZD) President Vladimir Yakunin announced that the company’s investment budget for 2010-2011 is 555 billion rubles (more than $18.5 billion).

Yakunin noted that 78% of the investment budget, 120 billion rubles ($4 billion), will be used to build a road/rail link between Adler and the Alpika-Service mountain resort.

Other investments include 72 billion rubles ($42.4 billion) to buy new rolling stock, plus funds to renew and improve track, bridges, signaling, and communications systems.

Yakunin says Russian Railways has found investment funds "severely restricted" by the world economy and now depends on the willingness of state regulators to approve rate increases.

The presence of Prime Minister Putin at the meeting was seen as an indication of the priority railways command in the national transportation policy.

While the Russian railway budget exceeds those of many systems, it pales in comparison with the $60 billion planned this year by China's railways.