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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
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