RZD looks to restart Moscow-Kazan HSL project

Project leaders developing plans for a $30 billion high-speed line between Moscow and Kazan will present the findings of an independent financial and technical study later this month.

Discussing the project at an event in January, Alexander Misharin first vice-president of Russian Railways (RZD) outlined the scope of the 770-kilometre high-speed link to a room of politicians and industry representatives.

Journey times between Moscow and Kazan would be reduced to three-and-a-half hours by the new high-speed route, with line speeds of up to 400 km/h.

The independent audit was commisioned towards the end of 2013 to confirm the feasibility of the proposals. Concerns had been raised after the estimated cost of the project rose from RUB 928 billion to RUB 1.06 trillion, putting increased pressure on public finances.

As well as the report, RZD is also planning to submit an updated financial model for the line, identifying new sources of funding to cover the additional costs, according to president Vladimir Yakunin.

Around 7.5 million passengers will use the Moscow-Kazan line each year, say RZD.

The project will also create significant employment opportunities, with 370,000 construction jobs and 5,600 operational positions expected to be created.