MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – The rail companies of Austria, Slovakia and Ukraine, partners of Russian Railways on the development of the Kosice-Vienna broad-gauge line, are continuing their participation in the project, the head of Russia’s railroad monopoly, Vladimir Yakunin, told RIA Novosti on Friday.
The guage width of most European railways measures 1,435 millimeters (4 feet 8½ inches), and the width of the gauge in Russia, CIS countries, the Baltics and Finland measures 1,520 millimeters (4 ft 1127/32 in). The new broad-gauge route from Kosice, eastern Slovakia to Vienna is expected to reduce the cargo delivery time from Asia to Europe and back to 15 days. Currently this route takes 30 days by an alternative sea route.
"Regarding the issue of a new transport corridor with the construction of a broad-gauge line from Slovakia to Vienna. All the procedures envisaged by the business plan are being fulfilled. All four participants are still participating in this project. I think that this project will be [implemented]," Yakunin said.
Investments in the construction of a 450-kilometer (280-mile) section of the broad-gauge line are estimated at $7.96 billion. Apart from that, about $350 million is to be invested in the development of a network of railroad terminals along the route and another $165 million in the rolling stock.