Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has inaugurated on December 23, the Crimean railway bridge, ensuring uninterrupted traffic between Crimea and other Russian regions. Before the opening ceremony, Putin rode along the bridge in the train driver’s cabin, inspected the entire railway section.
During the ceremony, Vladimir Putin ordered, via videoconference, the departure of the Tavria express passenger train from St Petersburg to Sevastopol. There are plans to start operating freight trains in the summer of 2020.
The 19-km railway bridge is the longest bridge in Russia and Europe. Starting on the Taman Peninsula, it runs along a 5-km long dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait and ends on the Crimean coast.
It is expected that the next year, almost 14 million passengers and 13 million tonnes of cargo will be transported.
“It is important for Crimea, Sevastopol, the entire south of Russia and the whole of Russia, because, of course, such infrastructure facilities as this tremendous bridge will influence the entire economy. I would like to tell you that today, we are not launching the traffic but restoring it, because originally train traffic to St Petersburg – and the first train will be from St Petersburg to Sevastopol – was launched 145 years ago,” Vladimir Putin said at the ceremony.