During a meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Russian Railways CEO, Oleg Belozerov, Moscow Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, presented an urban rail project that involves the construction of a new LRT linking Moscow Railway’s Belarus and Savyolovo lines.
The new line will have a length of 50 km and the city estimates that construction works will start next year. The value of the project is estimated at RUB 250 billion (USD 4.2 billion). According to the City Hall, Vladimir Putin is supporting the project.
“Russian Railways and the city have come up with a concept to connect sections of the railways, as well as straight-through radial routes. In this example, the Belarus and Savyolovo lines would be connected by a new light rail line about 50 kilometres long, estimated to carry 42 million people,” Sobyanin said.
On the Belarus – Savyolovo route, currently, people spend about two hours and have three interchanges traveling from Lobnya just north of Moscow, to Odintsovo, west of the capital. A new straight-through radial route will reduce travel time to less than 60 minutes, and there would be no need to make interchanges. “It would take us many years and about RUB 250 billion to build this as an underground metro line, but a light rail line can be completed in 12-18 months at reduced costs,” Mr Sobyanin said.
Moscow city has plans to continue linking railway lines with the LRT network. The creation of a straight-through radial route between the Riga and Pavelets lines may be another route in this programme. “It will take about five years to complete these lines,” Sobyanin noted.
According to plans, the city may construct 15 light rail lines depending on the situation and passenger-traffic volume. “This absolutely realistic project will change the situation for the Moscow transit hub, with up to 300 million passengers using these lines. The entire transport infrastructure, including the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD), will see a 10-12 percent reduction in traffic volumes,” Sobianin explained.
Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov added that the creation of light rail lines would make it possible to carry passengers within the city and to combine inter-regional traffic using fast and even high-speed trains. This will enhance Moscow as an aviation hub. “Our plans suggest that it will take passengers no more than one hour to shuttle between airports after this project is completed,” he said.