China Railway Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a 200-km-long high-speed rail line in central Russia, worth $2.5bn, Chinese media reported yesterday (20 June).
The line would run from Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, south to the industrial centre of Chelyabinsk.
If the scheme is ever completed, trains would run at 250km/h, cutting the current journey time between the two cities from five hours to 70 minutes.
The MoU, which is not binding, was agreed last Thursday with the Ural High Speed Company during the Fourth China-Russia Exposition, which was held in the Chinese city of Harbin.
"It’s a promising project with huge potential. We believe it will boost the region’s economic development, and benefit local people after its completion," said Zhang Xian, vice-president of China Railway Group, reported China Daily.
"The experience of the Moscow-Kazan railway positions us well in the industry. We’re ready to make full use of our cutting-edge technology in this project."
The project is expected to be a link in the Moscow to Kazakhstan high-speed line, and to be extended to China.
Last year China Railway Group, whose name is often shortened to CREC, the acronym of its parent company China Railway Engineering Corporation, signed overseas contracts worth $15bn, a rise of 50% on the previous year, according to the firm’s annual report. In the first quarter of 2017, newly signed overseas contracts reached $2.3bn and net profit increased 15% to $380m compared with the same period in 2016.
Image: Yekaterinburg is Russia’s fourth largest city (Anagoria/Creative Commons)