Russian Railways plans €11.25bln capital
spend in 2008

Russian Railways will raise its capital investment budget on
rail infrastructure to over 400bln roubles (€11.25bln) in 2008, its
president Vladimir Yakunin said.

Speaking at a company meeting, Yakunin revealed that the
state-owned rail monopoly poured 259bln roubles into infrastructure
upgrades this year. Including leasing expenditure, that figure
would have risen to much as 288bln roubles.

Priority investment projects this year included the development
of the main export routes which link the Kuzbass with Russia’s
seaports and high-speed rail services that connect Moscow and St
Petersburg, and Nizhniy and Novgorod.

“The Company considerably increased the renovation and upgrading of
its rolling stock and bought 326 locomotives, nearly 18% more than
last year and many more than the 100 locomotives we were buying
just 3 years ago,” Yakunin said. 

“Our purchases of freight cars almost doubled to 16,500. However,
Russia’s expanding economy require not only much more renovation of
our production assets, but also an accelerated development of the
rail network and new, efficient rolling stock. We will solve these
tasks as we implement the Strategy to Develop Rail Transport,
beginning next year.”

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 Yakunin also said that next year, the company plans to
modernise and purchase about 790 locomotives, over 17,000 freight
cars, 1,370 passenger coaches and over 1,000 motorised rolling
stock units.

“These measures are extremely important and will ensure we can meet
the growing demand for our transport services. We have to increase
freight traffic next year alone by 4.4 per cent, and by 15.5 per
cent in the next three years,” said Yakunin.