The Russian government is moving forward with an ambitious plan to build its first rail line into Tuva, a Siberian republic which borders Mongolia in the south and is separated from the rest of Russia by high mountains, Rail Freight reports.
The construction of the Elegest-Kyzyl-Kuragino railway line is about to change this, a groundbreaking construction project, should turn Tuva into an economic hub, the authorities say. After years of discussion, the project is now in its active phase.
According to Ruslan Baisarov, Owner of Tuva Energy Industrial Corporation (TEIC), whose company obtained the license to develop the coal deposits of the Ulug-Khemsky basin located in the Tuva Republic, the region has economic potential. But these natural resources are insignificant without an export route. Hence, the idea of a railway came into being.
Once completed, the Elegest-Kyzyl-Kuragino railway line will be 410 kilometers long. It connects the Siberian republic with the Krasnoyarsk Region and the rest of the country’s rail network. It is the first construction project of such a scale in the modern history of Russia.
According to industry experts, the project is one of the most expensive and ambitious infrastructure projects in modern times.
“We are in the process of building 127 bridges that will stretch over 10 kilometers and eight tunnels that will be around 11 kilometers long in total. The line will have a cargo transportation capacity of 15 million tons per annum for now, but we are already planning to increase this to 27 million tons,” Ruslan Baisarov explains.
“We will need this increased capacity since we are expecting the Elegest coal project to require transportation for around 15 million tons of coal every year”, he adds. Based on preliminary estimates by the project’s general contractor Russia Railways the development will cost about 126 billion rubles.