Key Russia-China Border Railway Bridge Opens Across The Amur River

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Russia and China have commenced cross-border rail traffic across the first Amur River railway bridge, at the Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang border.

Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the State Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), who partially funded the bridge, said on Wednesday (November 16) that “The launch of traffic on the bridge opens a new transport corridor between Russia and China, which removes a number of existing infrastructure restrictions. The distance for transporting goods to the northern provinces of China will be reduced by more than 700 km compared to existing routes.

Unleashing the potential of Russian-Chinese cooperation is impossible without the development of transport and logistics infrastructure. China is Russia’s largest trade and economic partner, as trade between our countries is showing steady growth and has already exceeded US$150 billion this year.

This historic railway bridge across the Amur River is one of the largest cross-border projects for Russia and China and a significant infrastructure project implemented by RDIF. Its opening will increase the competitiveness of Russian and Chinese enterprises, ensure a reliable and predictable schedule for the movement of goods and cargo, affordable raw materials and energy resources, as well as increase the capacity of railway routes between Russia and China by 1.5 times.”

Nizhneleninskoye is located in the Leninsky District of the Russian Jewish Autonomous Oblast, which borders China’s Heilongjiang Province. Both Nizhneleninskoye and Tongjiang are developing as key cross border trade hubs, with specialised logistics and related trade facilities booming in these locations – as well as economic trade zones in each offering preferential duty rates, VAT reductions and duty-free zones.

Nizhneleninskoye is connected by rail to the Trans-Siberian railway, which heads both West to Moscow and East to Vladivostok, providing access to an additional 20 Russian cities with populations in excess of 1 million as well as to Russia’s wealthy Moscow and St.Petersburg markets in addition to East Asian markets such as Japan and South Korea. Tongjiang is connected by rail to Beijing and the Chinese national rail distribution network.

The Russian and Chinese governments signed the agreement on the bridge’s construction in 2008. The RDIF together with Chinese partners financed more than 70% of the construction of the Russian part of the bridge. The VEB. RF state development corporation and Russian Railways also acted as investors in the project.

The bridge section of the Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang railway crossing is 2.2 km long, and is designed as a turn-based passage for trains along the track of two standards with a width of 1,520 mm (Russia) and 1,435 mm (China). The maximum throughput of the bridge will be up to 20 million tons of cargo per year.

The first road freight bridge between Russia and China across the Amur River, between Blagoveshchensk and Heihe opened in June this year. These links are timely – Russia-China bilateral trade reached US$117.2 billion in the first eight months of 2022, up more than 31% year on year.

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