Port Wings News Network:
Railways of the CIS and Baltic States increased international cargo transportation by 10.5% in the first 9 months of 2017 when compared to the same period last year, Oleg Belozerov, Chairman of the Council, President of JSC Russian Railways, has said.
Besides, the shipping plan was overfulfilled by 2%, noted the Chairman during the 67th meeting of the Council for Rail Transport of Commonwealth Member States on 20 October in Riga, Latvia.
OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF THE RAILWAY NETWORK
The meeting also summed up the operational performance of the railway network and international passenger transportation. Changes and additions to a number of regulatory and legal documents relating to the operation and repair of wagons and containers, as well as settlements between railway administrations, were approved.
In addition, a new timetable for train traffic has been agreed upon and approved, and it will be operational from early hours of 10 December 2017. It provides for 111 pairs of international long-distance passenger trains and 26 pairs of suburban border trains, as well as 170 trailers and nonstop passenger cars. The schedule for 104 pairs of specialized container trains, including piggyback trains, have also been determined.
Speaking about the work of the passenger complex, Mr. Belozerov drew the attention of railway administrations to the need to strengthen control over implementing the schedule of international trains.
“Eliminating train delays during border crossings is our guarantee, and ensuring the technical condition of passenger cars is our most important task. I ask the railway administrations to take measures to strengthen quality control in preparing international trains and that the train crews carry out their jobs and follow the rules of transportation,” Mr. Belozerov said.
According to him, to increase the attractiveness of international passenger traffic it is also necessary to pay special attention to increasing the speed of traffic and quality of services and reducing the cost of tickets.
As an example, Mr. Belozyorov led the launch of the Moscow-Minsk-Warsaw-Berlin international higher speed train and the Almaty-Tashkent higher speed train, which made it possible to travel without layovers and reduce the travel time by 7.5 hours. On Minsk-Vilnius route, the journey time has been cut in half.
Railways are finding various ways to attract passengers, including working with other modes of transport. In Moscow, in conjunction with the subway and aboveground city transportation, the Moscow Central Ring has been a success. A similar project is being prepared in Uzbekistan: around Tashkent, 26 railway stations connected with other modes of transport are planned for construction.
“In the future it will be possible to create a large-scale network of transport chains where passengers can travel “door-to-door” on one ticket, giving them the opportunity to use not only city transport, but also taxis and rental cars,” Mr. Belozerov said.
The chairman of the council also stressed the importance of continuing work to reduce the loss of international passenger traffic. According to him, in May 2017 letters were sent to the governments of the Commonwealth member states with a request to consider the possibility of switching to a new system of payments for international trains and, accordingly, amending the national legislation to establish a zero VAT rate on this indicator.
“I want to appeal to all the participants of the council with a proposal to exchange experience more often, to unite our efforts in improving international transport. It is necessary to continue a joint search for new transport technologies and introduce innovative rolling stock. Only such a path will lead us to new successes and achievements,” stated Mr. Belozerov.