The construction of Zhuravka – Millerovo rail bypass now allows trains to travel directly on the route Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Sochi without transiting the section on Ukraine’s territory. The completion of works was announced on 7 August by Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s Defence Minister.
Zhuravka – Millerovo section, with a length of 122.5 km of double track now passes up to 25 km east of the Ukrainian border. Thus, Russian trains no longer have to travel the route along the Ukrainian border or, in some places, even to transit the border. Construction of the rail bypass was approved in 2015 and works were launched later that year. Costs were estimated at RUB 56.6 billion (USD 944 million). Due to the importance of the project, it was carried out by RZD’s civil and military teams under the leadership of the Russian Defence Ministry. The railway was completed a year earlier than scheduled.
„The railway ensures the rapid transit of freight and passenger trains to the south of the country and is, at the same time, a starting point for a future extension of the railway which, in the end, reaches 137 km”, said Maxim Sokolov, Russia’s Minister of Transport.
Sokolov underlined that other important projects developed by the ministry he runs, such as Northern Latitudinal Railway, Kyzyl-Kuragino section, the railway development of Baikal-Amur, the Trans-Siberian and of the railway to Sakhalin Island, will also be completed as soon as possible.