«High-speed Railway»
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20 february

Press Conference at ITAR-TASS: More than 80% of the Russian population, the expert community and the Ministry Economic Development of the Russian Federation support HSR construction projects

Alexander Misharin stated the following at an ITAR-TASS press conference: “The Russian Ministry of Economic Development has confirmed the estimates of the macroeconomic effects of the Moscow-Kazan HSR project.”
On February 20, at the ITAR-TASS Press Center, a press conference was held on the topic of “High-speed rail lines in Russia: A stimulus for the country's economic development,” which was attended by Alexander Misharin, General Director of JSC High-Speed Rail Lines, Valery Fedorov, President of the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), Mikhail Dmitriyev, Scientific Director of the Center for Strategic Research Foundation, as well as more than 20 representatives of national and regional media.
In his opening remarks, Alexander Misharin thanked the audience for their interest in the topic of high-speed rail lines and said that having tracked the objectives put forth by the President and Government of Russia for creating new incentives for economic development, OAO Russian Railways and JSC High-Speed Rail Lines in cooperation with the Center for Strategic Research Foundation have provided detailed estimates of the economic effects of implementing the Moscow-Kazan HSR, one of Russia's largest infrastructure projects. These economic effects were confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. Thus, according to Misharin, due to cumulative effects of the project, GDP growth from 2019 to 2030 would reach RUB 7.2 trillion, and there would be more than 373,000 workers employed on the construction of the HSR, which will provide a multiplier effect on the economy. The General Director also stressed that, despite the fact that the end points of the future high-speed line are Moscow and Kazan, it is wrong to think that only the Moscow Region and the Republic of Tatarstan will benefit from the development. The area of the proposed railway line will connect seven subjects of the Russian Federation that represent 20% of the country's population. Each locality where a HSR stop is built (and there will be 14 such stops in total) will be transformed by the increased mobility and business activity of people, the creation of new jobs to service infrastructure and the integrated development of various businesses.
Valery Fedorov, President of VTsIOM, told journalists about the results of a recent sociological study of how the Russian population views the construction of high-speed rail corridor projects. Thus, 85% of respondents support the implementation of HSR projects, and 50% expressed their willingness to increase how often they make long-distance trips thanks to HSR. The results of the study also show that Russians care very much about the environmental impact of transport, and this is one of the factors why rail transport is the most favored means of transportation for intercity trips for the majority of the population. Among respondents living in the area where future HSR projects will be built, only 4% believe that the construction of HSR will harm the environment in their region.
Mikhail Dmitriyev announced the preliminary results of the assessment conducted by the Center for Strategic Research Foundation of the demand for HSR services in light of how passengers switch between modes of transport. “According to data from Europe and Asia, the HSR line on routes up to 400 km long will cover from 50 to 70% of all passenger traffic. Aviation and traditional rail will lose out, and the percentage of people choosing passenger cars will also suffer. We obtained a very conservative estimate for the Moscow-Kazan route: 33% of the total passenger flow will use the HSR line. This is a very conservative estimate, but even with these parameters, the economics of the project are very attractive.” The scientific director of the Center for Strategic Research Foundation also described how, thanks to the high passenger volume along the high-speed train line (approximately two times higher than average), the price for HSR tickets should be affordable. For example, the minimum cost of a trip from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod will be RUB 1280, which corresponds to the cost of travel in a second-class carriage.


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