«High-speed Railway»
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17 february

HSR at the airstairs

Russian Railways' Consumer Board has proposed to make Kazan airport (belongs to Svyazinvestneftekhim, a state-owned holding company) a terminal point of Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway line (HSR), says the Board opinion on draft HSR survey and design terms of reference (a copy is available with Vedomosti). So far, Kazan-1 railway station in the city centre has been proposed as HSR terminal point. The line linking Kazan-1 railway station with the airport was built in 2013 (Aeroexpress trains have run on it), as the opinion specifies. Russian Railways spokesman confirmed that the Kazan airport option is being discussed. He underlined that it does not mean higher project costs. According to the airport's information materials, passenger flows from/to Kazan airport in 2014 equalled 1.9 mn people (+5.2% against 2013). It served 999,000 passengers (plus 9.9%) of home routes, and 943,400 passengers (plus 0.5%) on international routes. When the HSR is launched, the travel time from Moscow to Kazan will cut from 14 hours 7 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes (see the schedule). The HSR will pass through Nizhny Novgorod international airport Strigino (owned by HC Airports of Regions), according to the terms of reference. In September, High-Speed Rail Lines (the project's SPV), Airports of Regions and Nizhny Novgorod Administration executed an agreement for building an intermodal transport hub based on Nizhny Novgorod airport. Strigino passenger flow equalled 1.1 mn in 2014. But by 2020, the airport may have served 6 mn passengers from Moscow. In 2028, the passenger flow will reach 7.5 mn, and 9 mn in 2035, according to the Nizhny Novgorod airport development presentation prepared by Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa Consulting and AMD Sigma. Mikhail Burmistrov, Managing partner of Infoline-analytics information agency, does not believe in so growing passenger flows. He doubts that the HSR may help regional airports to grow into large hubs since they are not as efficient as the Moscow ones. Russian Railways expects to announce a tender for HSR design in Q1. But the design financing issue has not been resolved so far: RUB6 bn are needed this year and RUB14.9 bn next year. Alexey Ulyukaev, Minister of Economic Development, said that Russian Railways is to finance half of this year's design costs. HSR design and construction costs up to Kazan (including trains) equal RUB1.0 tn. By Milana Chelpanova

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