Russia Considers Connecting Rail Through Baltics & Kaliningrad To Berlin

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baltic_sea-mapRussian Railways is considering launching a passenger train along the route St. Petersburg – Kaliningrad – Berlin, passing through Latvia, Lithuania and Poland en route, Victor Golomolzin, the CEO of Kaliningrad Railroad, part of Russian Railways told journalists last week.

The route, which is currently connected, yet remains unused, will require some upgrading to bring it to contemporary standards. At present the most viable option for travelers wanting to reach the Baltics or Berlin is either to fly or take the bus, a lengthy journey. The Kaliningrad region is Russia’s westernmost region and an enclave on the Baltic Sea.

“We are generating the idea of launching the Berlin-Kaliningrad-St Petersburg train, taking passengers in Berlin, going through Poland to Kaliningrad, and going from Kaliningrad via Lithuania and Latvia to St. Petersburg,” Golomolzin said. He said that discussions are continuing with the Governments Railway companies of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland over the potential for increased rail connectivity.  Continue reading…

Russia Opens Up Northern Sea Route For Gas Supplies To Asia

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russian-shipThe development of the Arctic Northern Sea Passage has taken a major step forward with the Russian supertanker Christophe de Margerie en route to South Korea. Sailing the Northern Sea Route with a load of liquefied natural gas from Norway, the shipment is a major step for Russia’s Sovcomflot to enter the global gas transportation market. Sovcomflot has 128 tankers and 13 LNG transport ships. This is about four percent of the global gas transporting fleet, however Russia’s share of this market is currently increasing. It means that Russia was now pitching itself as an important transporter of European gas to Asia.

The Christophe de Margerie does not need icebreakers to sail along the Northern Sea Route as it is able to cut through two meters of pack ice. Additionally, Russian companies intend to add value to raw gas. Gazprom has announced it is to build an LNG plant on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East as well as a facility in the Baltic Sea.
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Russia Completes Rail Link Around Eastern Ukraine

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russia-ukraineRussian Railways has completed the construction of a rail link that keeps away from the Lugansk region of Ukraine, bypassing the country entirely. Service is expected to start in September.

A test train of a locomotive and freight cars has already run through the completed stretch, Russian Railways have said. The construction of the rail link between Zhuravka – Millerovo began in 2014, after the deterioration of relations between Russia and Ukraine. The new 137 kilometers stretch runs entirely within Russian territory in the Voronezh and Rostov regions.

This will increase the line’s capacity and ensure the security of freight and passenger traffic, Russian Railways said. “It will provide stability of passenger and cargo transportation, and most importantly – to reduce the economic and technological risks that could arise when the route goes through Ukraine. This includes stop and delay of trains, delivery time delays, and traffic violations.” Continue reading…

Russia, China, Announce USD13 Billion Wide Body Passenger Jet JV

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comacRussia and China have announced the signing of a USD13 billion Joint Venture company, the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation (CRAIC), set up to compete with Boeing and Airbus. The license to operate in China was granted in Shanghai on Monday. The JV is between the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), with COMAC chairman Jin Zhuanglong saying the joint venture will develop wide-body aircraft and aims to produce “competitive” long-haul planes for the world’s aviation market.

CRAIC will be responsible for research, manufacturing, marketing, sales and services of its aircraft. According to an agreement by COMAC and its Russian partner United Aircraft Corp (UAC), 280-seat jets with a range of 12,000 kilometers will be prioritized.

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Kazakhstan to Set Up its First Cargo Airline

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By Marina Romanova

kazakhstan-cargo-airlineAccording to the national railway operator, Kazakhstan Railways is setting up a cargo airline in partnership with national carrier Air Astana. The first national cargo airline will begin to operate in 2017 with China, Europe, Iran, Russia and Turkey among its first destinations.

The new transportation project aim is to strengthen Kazakhstan’s competitiveness in the world. The Kazakhstan railways described the project called Rail-Air as a “new product of intermodal transport by rail and air transport.” It is expected that cargo airline will become “an alternative to the existing, but slower supply chain Sea-Air from South East Asia to Europe via Dubai”, said the railway operator.

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