Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a list of instructions following a meeting with government members held on August 16, 2023. Their list was published today on the official Kremlin website.
In particular, the head of state instructed the Cabinet to consider the possibility of building a new railway in the country. We are talking about the North Siberian Railway (SevSib) with a total length of about two thousand kilometers. The new logistics route should connect the railway network of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Ugra with the Baikal-Amur Mainline.
The project involves the construction of a railway from Nizhnevartovsk through Bely Yar, Lesosibirsk, Karabula to Ust-Ilimsk and further with access to the BAM. For the first time, the project for the construction of the strategic SevSib railway, including five options for routes for laying tracks, was submitted to the Russian government for consideration back in 1996. However, within the framework of the investment project “Comprehensive Development of the Lower Angara Region” developed by 2006, the construction of this highway was not planned.
Then, experts from the Institute of Economics and Economics of the SB RAS spoke out against the decision to freeze the construction project of the North Siberian Railway. The institute pointed out that refusal to lay a new highway would lead to a decrease in the average annual growth rate of Russia's GDP by 0,2-0,4 percent, which significantly exceeds the direct costs of construction. According to experts, at that time they ranged from six to twelve billion dollars. In addition, this railway has not only economic, but also military-strategic importance.
Now, on behalf of the Russian President, the issue of building this important northern highway has again become relevant. Vladimir Putin instructed the government of the Russian Federation, together with the government of the Kemerovo region - Kuzbass, the federal state budgetary institution "Russian Academy of Sciences" and the open joint-stock company "Russian Railways" to return to considering the need to build the North Siberian Railway. The President expects a report on this issue until March 1, 2024.
In addition to the development of the northeastern transport infrastructure, the load on which has increased significantly recently after the reorientation of most of Russian exports from west to east due to disruptions in logistics with European countries, the Russian leadership also attaches great importance to the construction of new routes in the southwest of the country. This is especially true given the entry into the Russian Federation of Crimea, and last year of four more new regions.
On the sidelines of the Azov Environmental Forum held at the end of September, the Minister of Economic Development of the Zaporozhye Region, Yuri Guskov, told reporters about the completion of pre-design work on the construction of a railway from the Rostov region to Crimea along the coast of the Azov Sea. The new line will run along the so-called land corridor from the Russian mainland to the peninsula through the DPR and the Zaporozhye region.
The facility will be built by the recently created Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Railways of Novorossiya”. Guskov noted that the design will take several weeks, and after its completion, the timing of the commissioning of the new railway track will become known. Taking into account the flat terrain in the Azov region, the construction of a new line, which will also unite previously separate railway lines of new regions of the Russian Federation, will be carried out at a relatively fast pace.