Oleg Belozerov, the CEO of Russian Railways, has announced that “compared to the peak level the company’s predecessor achieved during the Soviet period, which was reached in 1988, freight turnover has increased by 2.5%, while the proportion of rail transport, excluding specialised pipelines, in the freight turnover of Russia’s country’s transport system approached 88%, which is the highest figure for 15 years.”
According to Belozerov, the positive results were achieved thanks to company’s “systematic work to improve the technology of the transport process and improve production performance. Over the last 15 years, for example, the speed of freight delivery has increased by more than 54%.”
The freight turnover this year will increase by 4%, loading volumes by 2.2% and export shipments through Russian ports by 4.1%, with the volume almost doubling in the last 15 years.
In addition, Russia’s role as an integrator on the Eurasian transport market is constantly growing. Since 2004, the transit container traffic has increased by 2.5 times. In 2018 alone, growth was 25%.
The passenger transport achieved stable growth in all segments and by the end of the year, more than 1.15 billion passengers will have travelled by rail, an increase of 3.1% compared to 2017.
“The growth in new passenger segments, which we have been offering and developing for the last three years, is particularly indicative. Transport by our Lastochka trains has increased by 1.5 times in long-distance traffic and by one-third in suburban services, while travel on double-decker long-distance trains is up by 37%,” said Oleg Belozerov.
RZD is continuing to introduce new services, including for people with limited mobility. The company has now a round-the-clock escort and assistance service at 537 stations which is used by more than 15,000 passengers with limited mobility every month.
The company is also further developing electronic services, with passengers now online purchasing almost 52% of tickets for long-distance trains. “In 2018, this service became available to commuter passengers through the relevant mobile apps. As a result, the RZD Holding is also the largest online store in Russia today,” Belozerov explained.
Russian Railways also continues to focus on optimising costs. Over the past three years, the volume of optimisation measures exceeded 210 billion roubles [USD 3 billion], including 44 billion roubles [USD 660 million] in 2018. This has allowed the company to keep the growth in unit costs at 1%, which is significantly lower than Russia’s annual average inflation rate.
“An investment programme was formed and implemented in 2018 after taking into account the results of cost reductions. The programme’s investment volume was increased by almost 10% and reached 547 billion roubles [USD 8.2 billion],” said Oleg Belozerov.