Novosibirsk-Barnaul Siberian High Speed Rail Under Consideration
Russian Railways is viewing an option of building a high-speed railway for electric trains between Siberian cities of Novosibirsk and Barnaul. The relevant investment project is in the long-term development program of the Russian railway operator by 2025, the West Siberian Railway said on Friday.
According to the investment program of Russian Railways for 2019-2025, the project’s cost is 76 billion Rubles (US$1.2 billion) “Work is underway with regional authorities on possible conditions of their participation in organizing routes of electric trains on the railway segment.” according to the West Siberian Rail.
Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia, and the third largest in Russia after Moscow and St.Petersburg. It sits on the maritime navigable route of the Ob River, Asia’s fourth longest, and reaches into the Arctic and has roots into Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. Therefore it is an important maritime distribution hub, and as such is also a major hub interconnecting with the Trans-Siberian Railway. Novosibirsk’s Tolmachevo Airport is the busiest in Siberia.
Barnaul lies 340km to the south, with the Kazakhstan border a further 345 km, making Barnaul the closest major city to the Altai Mountains. It is also relatively close to the Russian border with Mongolia and China. It is linked to Almaty by rail as well as to Novosibirsk itself, the current journey time taking about 4 hours. A hi-speed link would reduce that to 90 minutes. The Barnaul-Almaty train journey currently takes 32 hours. If that were made hi-speed it would be possible to travel from the largest Kazakh city to Novosibirsk in 8 hours, a dream for Kazakh-Siberian traders and businessmen.
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