Russia Launches First Train Line to Crimea via New Bridge

Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched via video conference the first train from St. Petersburg to annexed Crimea that will arrive to the peninsula via the new Crimean Bridge, Interfax reports.

Putin also used the occasion to kick off regular traffic on the new railroad bridge across the Kerch of Strait.

Meanwhile, Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov said the company plans to finalize drafting cost estimating documents for construction of the high-speed railway line between Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2022.

“St. Petersburg Governor (Alexander) Beglov and I have applied to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking to support and enable us to draft the Moscow-St. Petersburg line. We obtained consent and currently plan to draft cost estimating documents by 2022,” he said.

Earlier Belozerov told reporters that the company considered it reasonable to start the construction of the Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod high-speed line, which already has project documentation ready, in 2020. The construction of the whole line connecting St. Petersburg, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod is planned to be completed in 2026.

In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the start of designing the Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway line project. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Maksim Akimov said in June that the preliminary estimate of the cost of the Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway line construction was 1.5 trillion rubles ($23.9 billion).