Military Review

“Russian” transport corridor in the heart of Europe


Railways have always been the most economical land transport. They have only two major drawbacks. Trains can only go on a track, and this track in different countries has different widths. That is what limits the use of rail traffic today. But capitalism still takes its toll. He will never give up profits, and therefore in the foreseeable future we will be able to see a train racing through the European expanses along the broad “Russian” track.

Track sticking

Yes, it is the track width that is all the time the main constraint for rail transportation between Russia and Europe. It is much cheaper to transport goods to the Baltic ports and reload them to the ship with a further shipment to Antwerp or Hamburg, rather than let them go by rail through, say, Brest. This is, first of all, inconvenient, and most importantly, a large cargo traffic in such a scheme is impossible.

For example. Here are some there are opportunities on the western border of Ukraine for transshipment of goods at docking sites as of 2014 year. As you can see, some units are equipped with workshops for the rearrangement of wheelsets. However, the throughput of such a node is extremely small, only 70 cars per day. Moreover, most of this “volume” is chosen by passenger trains, and cargoes are overloaded with the help of cranes from the car to the car, or with unloading onto an intermediate platform.

As we understand, this method of transporting goods is extremely inconvenient. In the first place it is expensive, and in the second long. The client can not wait, and the competition requires flexibility. And exactly two options. Either lay railways with “European” gauge in Russia, or in Europe with “Russian” gauge.

Not a single European state will soberly agree to alter its gauge. It is expensive. It is tremendously expensive and, as a result, unprofitable (although there are exceptions).

"Military Baltic" railway

That is why, until now, the Baltic republics have not changed their gauge to the European standard, although the Europeans are very persistent in their inclination to do so. Even willing to compensate for most of the costs. But even this is not very inspiring Russophobic-minded Balts. And you can understand them. The Europeans cannot answer one simple question: what will they carry along this road if the main cargo traffic today goes from Russia to the Baltic and then by sea (a remnant of the Soviet past), and in the opposite direction there is almost no and is not expected?

Actually, this is why the only project of such a similar Rail Baltica road is being coordinated so slowly today. And 85% of the money for its construction, EU officials agree to allocate from the budget of the Union. But even the remaining 15% (which is almost a billion euros) scare the Balts. That is why the idea conceived in the last century, despite the obvious interest of Europeans in it, is being implemented very slowly. If nothing changes, the first train from Tallinn will follow the new track at best in the 2025 year, and finally the line will be completed no earlier than the 2030 year. However, many experts agree that the economy does not smell here. Rail Baltica is a purely political project, and investment in it will never pay off.

Yes, political and military, since the main task of the new railway will be the possibility of rapid deployment in the region of NATO armies from the countries of central Europe.

From Moscow to Vienna on 1520 mm

It is quite another thing when we start talking about freight traffic from Russia to Europe. He grows. Moreover, there is every reason to believe that with a sharp improvement in rail logistics to Europe, it will be possible by rail to redirect a significant part of cargo traffic from Central Asia.

And even some of the freight from eastern China.

The most bottleneck for the transportation of all these goods on the new route is precisely the difference in gauge. Laying a new railroad bed from Russia to Europe according to the “Russian” standard (otherwise there is simply no point) immediately removes the main problem. Freight trains on the new road can be formed in the Far East, and end their way in Europe, where logistics centers will be created around the new road through which goods will be sent to their destinations.

Back in 2008, the political and business circles of Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Austria had the idea of ​​creating such a road. According to the idea, the “Russian track” from the Slovak Kosice will stretch to Bratislava and further to Vienna. The new road costing 6,36 billion euros (in 2013 prices of the year) and the total length of 430 km will create more than half a million jobs during construction, and ultimately will result in huge profits, as it will reduce the cost of transportation, for example, a standard container directions to 1,5 thousand euros apiece.

Already by 2013, the project of the new railway passed the stage of economic substantiation, environmental assessment and approached the stage of project development. But Kiev Maidan, which followed after this, froze the plans of investors for several years.

Only in the summer of 2017 of the year, they again began to reanimate the project and yesterday 21 February of 2018 of the year within the business forum "Strategic Partnership 1520" announced its transition to the next stage (preliminary design). That is, the fundamental agreement of all the project participants has been obtained, and now the best one will be chosen from all possible options for the future route. And then the construction itself will follow, which, according to the plan of the participants, should be completed by 2033.

So, we see that the construction of "European" railways to the east in the near future is hardly possible. Europeans, at the behest of NATO, will unequivocally end up building the railroad rail Baltica, which will never be commercially successful and will put a burden on the so-called slimming budgets of the Baltic border countries. And vice versa, the development of economic ties between Russia and Europe has already made the demand for laying new railways according to the “Russian” standard deep into the continent. So, they will appear.
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  1. Kot_Kuzya
    Kot_Kuzya 22 February 2018 06: 44
    And in China, what is the standard gauge? Russian or European?
    1. bandabas
      bandabas 22 February 2018 07: 06
    2. siberalt
      siberalt 22 February 2018 08: 00
      Well, and what will it cost to change your standard gauge for the people? Or do we have chewing gum and phai, phai, and Europe? Lying under the merchants, who do not have a clan and tribe, or are we concerned about the safety of our Fatherland? winked
      1. hhhhhhh
        hhhhhhh 22 February 2018 08: 42
        We will also need to carry tanks and shells to the EU. If they look askance.)))
    3. Megatron
      Megatron 22 February 2018 19: 06
      As far as I remember, our standard, which is not similar to the European one, was specially chosen, for military reasons, in order to impede the advance of the enemy in our territory.
      1. Setrac
        Setrac 22 February 2018 22: 52
        Quote: Megatron
        as far as I remember, our standard, which is not similar to the European one, was specially chosen, for military reasons, in order to impede the advance of the enemy in our territory.

        Moreover, modern reinforced concrete gratings cannot be simply taken and changed to a different track, as was done during the Great Patriotic War on wooden sleepers.
      2. geniy
        geniy 26 February 2018 09: 53
        No, such a gauge standard was not chosen at all for military reasons. It’s just that in the nineteenth century, when the railroads first appeared, there were many different gauge options. And American engineers were invited to Russia and one of the Railways in America had such a gauge of 1514 mm. And therefore, American engineers did the same, but not because of a desire to prevent enemy troops from traveling on Russian railways.
        And what’s interesting: after a few years, the Americans decided to switch to the European standard of gauge, and in a few days they altered the entire railway - they reduced the gauge.
  2. Rostislav
    Rostislav 22 February 2018 10: 06
    Too much optimism and inaccuracies in the calculations.
    Firstly, the cheapest form of transport is sea.
    Secondly, in Kosice, how will you get through Poland or Ukraine? This couple will still argue for the place of the most hysterical Russophobe.
    So it's too early to rejoice.
    1. Dmitry 2246
      Dmitry 2246 22 February 2018 11: 37
      Cross out Ukraine and add Belarus (everything is ready there) and Poland (ready for anything for money).
    2. Curious
      Curious 22 February 2018 11: 48
      "Too much optimism and there are inaccuracies in the calculations."
      You confuse information and propaganda materials. This informational materials are important impartiality and accuracy. And the main thing in propaganda is loudness and pathos.
      1. thinker
        thinker 22 February 2018 14: 42
        And you need to carefully read.
        Railways have always been the most economical land mode of transport.
    3. Setrac
      Setrac 22 February 2018 22: 55
      Quote: Rostislav
      Firstly, the cheapest form of transport is sea.

      This is not entirely true. Electrified railways are cheaper than sea transport.
    4. Igor V
      Igor V 22 February 2018 23: 13
      "First, the cheapest form of transport is maritime."
      But the sea is not land, as stated in the article. smile
    5. midivan
      midivan 24 February 2018 15: 10
      Quote: Rostislav
      too much optimism and inaccuracies in the calculations.
      Firstly, the cheapest form of transport is sea.

      Railways have always been the most economical land mode of transport.
      Ahaa, overland written yes
      Quote: Rostislav
      This couple will still argue for the place of the most hysterical Russophobe.
      So it's too early to rejoice.

      Here, yes, to the very point.
    6. Awaz
      Awaz 5 March 2018 20: 32
      Initially, at one time I heard that a project was being developed by Berlin Kiev Moscow Astana and to China on the theme of high-speed railway. But because of hohlobunta, the topic was canceled or frozen. I don’t remember the width of the rut there whether it was discussed, but someone said that they generally wanted to do even more broadly, well, almost like the Nazis at one time. Here the topic is such that it would be necessary to tighten the Poles and then it would be possible to solve the problem of Ukraine, and then Belarus would have had a gesheft.
  3. faiver
    faiver 22 February 2018 11: 56
    fresh giving, but hard to believe ...
  4. igordok
    igordok 22 February 2018 12: 18
    Railways have always been the most economical overland mode of transport.

    They taught at school that pipeline transport is the most economical, but it is very specific. You can’t carry everything on it.
    1. Mihail28
      Mihail28 27 February 2018 00: 10
      The specifics of pipeline transport.
      In the passenger pipe - And he said, he’ll go empty.
  5. Tektor
    Tektor 22 February 2018 12: 59
    Already 40 years there is a change of gauge on the go

    Why is it necessary to invent this "bike"?
    1. andy.v.lee
      andy.v.lee 24 February 2018 14: 55
      There is no rolling stock for freight. Such a change is available more for passengers.
  6. Glory1974
    Glory1974 22 February 2018 13: 38
    When the railway was built in Russia, the tsar was asked:
    "Will we do as in Europe or wider?"
    the king was astonished and answered: "What the hell is wider?"
    They were embarrassed to question him, but just in case they did it “to hell” more widely. laughing
    As it turned out, they did not fail, because the carrying capacity of our trains is greater.
    In modern conditions, the track does not need to be redone; it is enough to remake the wheelsets. Here I agree with
    Text Today, 12: 59 New
    Already 40 years there is a change of gauge on the go
    1. Dr_engie
      Dr_engie 24 February 2018 15: 25
      Which payload is higher? Why?
      And have you seen American or Australian squads?
      1. Glory1974
        Glory1974 24 February 2018 20: 31
        wheelbase is bigger, load capacity is higher
  7. nnz226
    nnz226 22 February 2018 14: 06
    Only Hohland fell out of the aforementioned scheme, and the Poles will strangle themselves, but they will not allow us to pave such a road ...
  8. 44 Locomotive
    44 Locomotive 22 February 2018 20: 19
    How many years have gas pipelines been built? so why with a piece of iron will be better? mattresses are unlikely to let their European colonies off a short leash.
  9. TOR2
    TOR2 22 February 2018 22: 16
    There is a weak link in this project - Poland and K. Perhaps this idea can be implemented somewhat differently. We load wagons under Peter on a ferry vessel. While the ferry goes to Germany, we change wagon trolleys. But here, too, is not so simple. The requirements for the dimensions of the rolling stock are different in our country and in Germany, as are the coupling systems.
  10. Gennady Aleshkin
    Gennady Aleshkin 22 February 2018 22: 34
    Isn’t it easier to put a third rail - each has its own way! Another rail on the same sleepers? Weak engineers ... or we will change the carts for cockroaches in my head ...
    1. Igor V
      Igor V 22 February 2018 23: 19
      For some reason, the third rail is not placed. In our city, in Kaliningrad and in the region where two tracks immediately pass, four rails are laid. Maybe a problem with the arrows, or maybe something else.
      1. Sancho_SP
        Sancho_SP 24 February 2018 14: 18
        Arrows do not succeed.
  11. naidas
    naidas 24 February 2018 15: 59
    The Nord Stream article No. 3 is the main railway link between Russia and Germany, passing along the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
  12. 406ppm2gv
    406ppm2gv 25 February 2018 15: 03
    Projectlight article and about nothing. such would definitely not have passed.
  13. Mihail28
    Mihail28 27 February 2018 00: 05
    And besides a different gauge, different gauge widths.
  14. Awaz
    Awaz 5 March 2018 20: 44
    From the point of view of logic, it would be possible to build a railway with a non-standard wide gauge from Berlin to Beijing, to make it as fast as possible and with minimal stops. And already each country on the route of the route would overload containers on its own piece of iron in large logistics centers .... There, passengers could be driven ..