Russian Group Promotes High-Speed Trans-EuroAsia Railways

Press Release — The increasing trade between the countries of East Asia, the European Union and other countries of the Eurasian continent predetermines a significant revival of transport links in the direction of East-West and vice versa. The High-Speed Railway Trans-Eurasia will allow transporting goods three times faster in comparison with classical railway technologies and 15 times faster in comparison with the ocean transportation. The proposed delivery speed from China to Europe can reach 3 days.

Researchers from JSC Russian Railways have analysed modern technologies in building high-speed rail lines, which will reduce transport speeds and increase railway transportation efficiency. Firstly, the maximum speed of freight and passengers trains will be 300-350 km/h. Secondly, infrastructure and trains should use unmanned technologies, new digital solutions and control systems, Big Data, and cloud technologies. Thirdly, the new high-speed line will be secure against extreme weather conditions, unauthorized interference of humans and collisions with animals. And last, the new project involves accelerated loading loading by drones without stopping trains and using environmentally friendly solutions. These technologies will allow transporting goods from China to Europe within Russian territory during 2 days.

The group of researchers from Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration have evaluated long-term macroeconomic, social, and geopolitical effects from the implementation of the project, which is planned for 2018 – 2030. Using mathematical modelling, these researchers have made forecasts for the returns from the project investments.

The high-speed railway construction project will create jobs for 110 thousand people in Russia. At the same time, this is predominantly (by 40-55%) highly paid high-tech jobs. The project can increase the demographic potential of Siberia and the Far East by at least 600-700 thousand people. The success of high speed railway implementation will ensure the country’s GDP growth in 2030 by 1%. In the geopolitical sphere, high-speed railway will strengthen Russia’s strategic position as located between the world’s largest economic clusters in Europe and Asia.

According to the researchers, forecasting the structure of trade interactions for the period up to 2030 shows two scenarios for the international trade development. In case of the inertial scenario, China by 2030 becomes the undisputed world leader. Though, in case of the convergent scenario, China’s positions are also strengthening, but not so fast. In any case, it follows from the calculations that by 2030 China will become the main trading partner of Germany. At this point, the role of Russia as a transit country in this trade is sharply increasing and these opportunities should be seized.

Currently, 22 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit, typical cargo transporter) are transported by sea, which is 99,5% of the whole commodity flow, and 105 thousand TEU or 0,5% of the total are transported by railroads. The reasons are higher rail cargo transportation costs and low modern railway lines capacity, which do not compensate delivery time differences (30-45 days of sea transportation versus 10-15 days of rail transportation).

Modelling shows that in case of high-speed Trans-Siberian railway usage, 21,5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit, typical cargo transporter) are transported by sea, which is 97,3% of the whole commodity flow, and 600 thousand TEU or 2,7% of the total are transported by railroads. In other words, the volume of sea transportations in comparison with the existed scenario, would reduce by 2,2% (in favour of rail transportation), and rail transportations would increase by 474%. For individual groups of goods (for which delivery speed plays an important role) replacement of sea transportation by rail would be much higher.

Generally, the implementation of high-speed Trans-Siberian railway will lead to the following effects: – opportunity to attract during the foreseeable period an unprecedented volume of foreign investment in Russia and open new possibilities for an import into Russia of really modern technologies, technologies of the future; – due to the involvement of European investors increase interest degree of the European Union in Russia as a key geopolitical and geo-economic partner and creatingincentives for the transition of Russian-European economic and political cooperation to a qualitatively new level.

The group’s contact is  Evgueniya Balyakina of the Russian Regional Economic Group

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