Russian Railways presents ‘Broad Gauge to Vienna’ project in Slovakia

Today in Bratislava, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin presented a project to build a 1520 mm gauge railway line to Vienna <http://eu.vocuspr.com/Url.aspx?522698x400877x-528533> .

Vladimir Yakunin’s talk was part of a presentation of joint Russian-Slovak projects, during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Slovakia.

Mr Yakunin said that under the project, the broad-gauge railway will be extended from Ko&scaronice to Bratislava and Vienna. The goal of this project is to create a competitive direct rail link connecting European states with Russia and Asian countries.

As a result of this project, the need to shift cargo between trains at stations where the European rail network meets the broad-gauge track will be avoided. This will halve freight delivery times from Europe relative to sea routes – from 30 to 14 days - and the working capital saved, depending on the value of the freight, will be between $100 and $1000 per container.

Mr Yakunin noted that in 2007 and 2008, the project’s four-way working group (involving Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Austria) carried out a preliminary investment feasibility study and began market research.

According to estimates, the volume of transport on the Ko&scaronice – Bratislava line could reach 23.7 million tons by 2025, and 18.5 million tons on the Bratislava – Vienna line. The planned route to Europe will carry both containers and raw materials (iron ore, non-ferrous metals, and others), and the reverse route will carry containers.
According to preliminary estimates, the cost of the project to build the new rail line could exceed 4.7 billion euros.

“I would like to note that we consider the project to build the Ko&scaronice - Bratislava – Vienna rail line, along with other international projects of Russian Railways, to be a centre of gravity for other areas of business, cumulatively forming a powerful trade and transport system. This will prove to be a catalyst for the process of rapprochement and effective cooperation between 1520 mm and 1435 mm gauge railway systems, and will provide a boost to economic ties between countries of the European Union and Russia, and between Europe and Asia as a whole”, Vladimir Yakunin <http://eu.vocuspr.com/Url.aspx?522698x400876x-128648> said.

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