The 62nd Council for Rail Transport (CRT) of Community of Independent States (CIS) took place in Minsk on 20-21 May, hosted by Belarusian Railways and presided by Vladimir Yakunin, Russian Railways CEO. The discussions focused on international transport of passengers and freight, the joint use of rolling stock, mutual settlements for services provided, and the development of common regulations.
According to 2014 data provided by Yakunin, 2027 million tonnes of freight were transported on CIS railway network (-3.1% compared to 2013). The increase of average transport distance to 79 km (+ 5.9%) led to a 2.7% increase in turnover.
The volume of container transport reached 29.2 million tons, a 9.3% increase compared to 2013.
Further prospects of increasing freight traffic volume are connected to the development of integrated comprehensive logistics services.
In 2014, the volume of international passenger traffic in CIS countries declined 41.5% compared to 2013, to 27 million 715 thousand passengers.
“We must make further efforts to attract more passengers to railways and to continue working on the optimization of international trains fares in order to increase the competitiveness of railways compared to other modes of transport”, said Vladimir Yakunin. The focus should be on cost optimization, energy efficiency and improvement of technological processes.
Vladimir Morozov, Head of Belarusian Railways noted that at the beginning of the year, Belarusian and Russian railways reduced ticket prices for Belarus-Russia train services by nearly 50%, depending on the booking patterns. (Belta.by)
Belarusian Railways and Russian Railways are currently implementing several joint big projects. These include the organization of high-speed passenger rail service Moscow-Minsk-Berlin with the construction of the Talgo axle change system in Brest, development of the high-speed passenger service to Kaliningrad.
Belarusian Railways invested about USD 30 million in developing the infrastructure from the border with Russia to the border with Latvia, stated Morozov. The company installed microprocessor centralization at the Novopolotsk station, commissioned the equipment with centralized equipment deployment at the Vitebsk-Polotsk section which has allowed increasing the throughput capacity in this area.
Belarusian Railways and Ukrainian Railways are considering a project to electrify the rail lines in the border districts Gomel-Chernigov and Kalinkovichi-Korosteni. In addition, Belarusian Railways plans to discuss with Russian and Latvian railway infrastructure manager about the electrification project of Smolensk-Vitebsk-Daugavpils-Riga railway line.
About CIS Rail Transport Council
CIS Rail Transport Council includes as permanent members the railway administrations of Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Georgia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Finland are associate members of the CIS council, while Lithuania and Estonia participate at the meetings based on special agreements. Iran and the International Confederation of Railway Workers and Transport Builders are observers.