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High-speed rail in Russia: Wikis


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High-speed rail is emerging in Russia as an increasingly popular means of transport, although the development of such rails is moving at a slower pace than in the rest of Europe.


Experimental trainsets built in 1974

Two experimental high-speed trainsets (designed for 200 km/h operation) were built in 1974: locomotive-hauled RT-200 ("Russkaya Troika") and ER-200 EMU. The RT-200 set made only experimental runs in 1975 and 1980 and was discontinued due to unavailability of the ChS-200 high-speed locomotive- they were only delivered later. The ER-200 EMU was put into regular service in 1984. In 1992 a second ER-200 trainset was built in Riga. Both sets continue their service until nowadays.

Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway

Russia's highest speed railway is the Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).[1] The first upgraded 250 km/h service went into service December 26, 2008. Plans for other railways are following, including a Helsinki-St. Petersburg Pendolino, and Moscow-Sochi using Japanese Shinkansen.

New lines in consideration

Russia has the following lines in consideration or under construction:

  • The Moscow-Saint Petersburg Railway has been updated to allow a Siemens Velaro RUS to reach 250 km/h (155 mph), though the trains are capable of 300 km/h (186 mph) service. Construction started in 2004 and train work assembly in 2007, with 8 widened Siemens Velaros ordered. At the moment, the fastest trains in that route are «ER-200» and «Nevsky Express» with cruising speed 160–180 km/h (99–110 mph). Service began December 26, 2008. On May 7, 2009, a Velaro RUS, now renamed Sapsan, set the Russian speed record of 281 km/h. Also announced was that the Velaro trains would enter service in December 2009 on the Moscow-Saint Petersburg line, with maximum speeds of 250 km/h, though typical speeds of 200 km/h. This would allow a Moscow to Saint Petersburg journey time of 3h 45mins. Current infrastructure could be modernised to allow average speeds of 230 km/h in the future.[2]
  • Helsinki - St. Petersburg: Finland and Russia have agreed on upgrading the rail line linking Helsinki and St. Petersburg, to a 200 km/h high speed line. Alstom has signed a contract in August 2007 with Karelian Trains for four (4) New Pendolino derivatives (must be adopted for both countries) and options for 2 more. Times will be cut from 5.5 hours to 3 hours, with passport checks being carried out on-board rolling trains. Due to begin open in 2010.[3][4]
  • Moscow-Kaliningrad: high speed line plan existed previously.
  • Moscow-Sochi route: Recently, serious talks with Sumitomo Corporation of Japan for Shinkansen for the Moscow-Sochi route (for Sochi's successful bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics).
  • Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod route, to use Shinkansen along with Sochi, although the contract was previously eyed for use by the German ICE's.[5] The high-speed traffic in Nizhny Novgorod will begin in July 2010. Two trains will make shuttle trips between Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow and one between Nizhny Novgorod and St. Petersburg. The latter route will take 3 hours and 45 minutes, as against current 14 hours. [6]
  • Transiberian Railway : Russia is in preliminary talks with Japan for long term plans to replace the trains on the Transiberian Railway with a Shinkansen derivate. It is not likely to allow 200 km/h.
  • New Moscow-St.Petersberg High-Speed Line: In February, 2010, RZD announced that it will unveil proposals in March, 2010, for a new "European standard" high-speed line between St.Petersberg and Moscow. The new line would be built to normal Russian gauge and would likely be built parallel to the existing line.[7]

According to RZhD Director Vladimir Yakunin, Russia will have several high-speed railroads by 2012 - 2014.[8]


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