Russian Railways has announced that next year will complete the first stage of Baikal-Amur (BAM) and the Trans-Siberian railway modernisation and will begin the second phase of the project.
Last year, RZD has invested RUB 47 billion (USD 737 million) to modernise the two main railway corridors. The company has reconstructed and constructed 40 km of railway line and put into operation 4 km of additional tracks, four modernised stations, and 32.5 km of contact network. The project includes the modernisation of the railway infrastructure, facilities and other components, but also the development of coal deposits, which involves the cooperation with the coal companies.
During 2016-2017, the company invested RUB 111 billion (USD 1.74 billion) for BAM and Transsib modernisation, while for 2017 and 2018, the project received around RUB 150 billion (USD 2.35 billion) financial support, coming from federal government and the National Wealth Fund.
The modernisation of the two railway lines started in 2013. Modernisation works were completed for more than 5,000 km of lines, 150 km of additional tracks were also put into operation in 2018, along with 34 stations and 68 bridges. The first phase of the modernisation programme was estimated at RUB 562.4 billion (USD 8.9 billion), an investment which will support the increase of the capacity by 67 million tonnes per year, compared to 2012 levels. When the first phase will be completed, it is estimated that the cargo volume on Baikal-Amur Mainline and Trans-Siberian lines will increase from 58 million to 125 million tonnes.
Starting from Lake Baikal in Siberia to Khabarovski Krai on Russia’s Pacific coast, BAM has a total length of 3,220 km, with 142 bridges and 8 tunnels, and more than 200 railway stations and sidings.
Trans-Siberian offers rail connection between Moscow and Vladivostok on a 9,300 km double-track electrified railway line. The Trans-Siberian mainline carries more than 50% of Russia’s foreign trade and transit freight and reduces the shipping time by more than 2-fold. The container trains from China to Finland via the Trans-Siberian take less than 10 days, while the journey by sea is 28 days.