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I'd hope our Russophile readers could dig up some recent news about Russian attempts for facilitating Chinese-EU traffic.

I also add that there is one further factor that could benefit the Transsib route more: electrification. All of the Transsib is electrified, only the connecting lines across Mongolia or Northern China aren't - while large sections of the other routes would still have to be electrified.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 06:34:55 PM EST
I'm hoping for some Russians, too.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 06:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We also have readers from the 'stans, such as Serik Berik.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 06:48:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sorry for noticing this post so late. Catching up with work is an ungrateful business.

I'll try and search for more info on the Kazakhstan's part of this railway project. If anything interesting comes up, I'll put it up in a diary. Deal?

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government -- Edward Abbey

by serik berik (serik[dot]berik on Gmail) on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 06:13:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deal! Am looking forward to anything.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 06:17:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, that was fast...
Thank you for the encouragement!

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government -- Edward Abbey
by serik berik (serik[dot]berik on Gmail) on Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 06:21:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my oligarch firends in Moscow tried for a while to work on the Pacific Ocean - Europe rail link via the Transsiberian. It would make a hell of a lot of economic sense, and some of the Asian trading houses (especially the big Japanese traders) would be willing to invest in it significantly as it would save them a number of days in transit and a lot pf money, but the Russians railways are even more corrupt than the oil sector (so said my oligarch from the oil sector friend) and it was impossible to get any guarantees in terms of reliability and safety - the main conditions for such a line to be put in place.

I personally expect the Artic trading route (the one made possible by global warming) to be in place before any land version happens - meaning that the land versions will NEVER happen.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 07:06:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What are you doing up past 1 am, Jerome?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 07:09:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same as you?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Mar 18th, 2006 at 07:38:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but it was only past midnight here ;-P

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 06:10:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, right.
by blackhawk on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 05:56:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll be happy to take the bet (on the land route vs artic route, I mean, which I presume is what you commented upon)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 07:45:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Were you serious? Everything sounds so wrong, I don't know where to start. But in this you are right: Japan will ship through Arctic before it will happen through Transsib. As for Transsib as internal trading route, it works already.

For this entire thread and your comment, keywords to look up: cost of shipping via sea and rail, insurance, energy costs, landlocked countries, Axes of Evil and Turkmenistan.

What the shipping costs are for shipping from Japan to Vladivistok, Russia vs Haifa, Israel?

by blackhawk on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 08:45:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You think Turkmenistan would pose more problems to freight traffic than Belarus? But there is already some through traffic to Iran, along the border crossing line completed in the nineties.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 12:16:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Axes of Evil

I don't believe in axes of evil. Apparently Putin's government doesn't either, or they wouldn't pursue that project with Iran and Azerbaijan to create a North-South corridor.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 12:21:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What the shipping costs are for shipping from Japan to Vladivistok, Russia vs Haifa, Israel?

Cost, or price? If the latter, roughly the same?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 12:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The situation you described is one that greatly impoved since Putin took power.

RZD put its finances in order. The going-to-nowhere projects suddenly started to be finished: the final unelectrified sections of the Transsib were electrified lately, the longest tunnel along the BAM (during construction, some passes were crossed with intended-as-temporary lines until tunnels are finished) was put into service last year and the other half-finished ones are in works, the BAM's Eastern end (with the port connections) is about to be upgraded, a section of the Yakutsk line was opened and the rest is now in works, Moscow's suburban railways are modernised and two new airport links are in service, and so on.

Recently, there was one decision that may reflect a sane economic sense of management overruling political ties: the cancellation of the purchase of German high-speed trains. Building the lines for them would at present be beyond RZD's or even Russia's economic power, not to mention that train tickets would be too expensive for most, so spending money on system-wide upgrades does make sense.

What's more, the transcontinental traffic is kind of already in operation, in two halfs: there are some direct Berlin-Moscow and Moscow-Beijing freight transports.

Of course, to really get this off rolling, still a lot of line upgrades are needed for reliable train times, and potential customers need to be convinced that their transports are safe on the passage.

I personally expect the Artic trading route (the one made possible by global warming) to be in place before any land version happens - meaning that the land versions will NEVER happen.

The Artic route by ship would still be longer in time and more expensive than train.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Mar 19th, 2006 at 12:12:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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