Russian railroads to increase cargo and passenger turnover

By 2007, Russian railroads are to increase their cargo turnover by 32 percent and their passenger turnover by 15.5 percent against 2001, Russian Railroad Minister Gennady Fadeyev reported at today's meeting of the board of the Ministry devoted to the results of the railroad's activities in 2003. Additionally, according to him, train speed is to advance by 20 percent by 2007. As the Minister pointed out, these results are to be reached after railroads are reformed.

As for short-term plans, Fadeyev reported that in 2003, cargo turnover would climb 3.5 percent against 2002; passenger turnover would advance by 0.7 percent "instead of the deepest decline in 2002". According to the senior official, over 100 operating companies are to work at Russian railroads in 2003. "All legal and economic grounds for this have been created," he said. As for the 2003 investment program, the Minister pointed out that this year, the top priorities would be buying and streamlining rolling stock and providing safety for transportation. "The selection of investment projects will be extremely severe and pragmatic," the Minister stressed.

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