Trans-Siberian broad-gauge railway is to lead to Vienna

The new government wants to give new impetus to the long-term project of extending the Trans-Siberian broad-gauge railway into the Vienna area - with freight transhipment nodes on the EU standard gauge, presumably in Parndorf. On Wednesday, the Council of Ministers in Vienna dealt with it. ÖBB and Russian State Railways signed additional agreements on their previous agreements at noon.

Minister of Transport Norbert Hofer (FPÖ) has set a few years for official permits in the Austrian section. Not at all decades like other major projects. "We want to go on this train in 2033." Financial details, including the Austrian part of the construction costs, are open. For Austria, however, this project will pay off several times, Hofer told reporters today.

His Russian colleague Maxim Sokolov and Russian railway chief Oleg Belozerov underlined the strategic importance of the railway corridor. It is convinced that internationally renowned investors and funds will be co-financed. The profitability of the project sees Russia confirmed. It is believed that there will also be support from Asian investors.

New silk strains

Years ago, letters of intent were signed by the Railway Board of Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Austria. There is also a common planning daughter. On virtually every state visit between Austria and Russia, the expansion of the Russian broad-gauge railway to the west is an issue. There are several feasibility studies. Now starts another round of expertise, from the entrance to the "last phase of study" was today at an international conference in Vienna the speech. The environmental impact assessments in Austria and Slovakia will soon begin.

Austria's new government is placing high hopes in the broad gauge railway, which, as one strand under the project name "Neue Seidenstraße", is to connect freight rail networks to China and which is also part of the new Austrian government program. For ÖBB boss Andreas Matthä, it takes courage and a long breath for this project, it is a project for generations.

How much a continuation of the Russian broad-gauge railway costs up to the Vienna area is not clear. When to finish, was reaffirmed on Wednesday. According to recent studies, the single-track high-speed line Košice -Vienna should be built from the end of 2024. Full operation is assumed in previous projections from early 2033.

Studies from last summer have estimated the construction of the 400-kilometer stretch from Vienna to the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway in Košice (Slovakia) at almost € 6.5 billion. In the end, therefore, a continuous route should be exclusively for goods traffic between Asia, Russia and Europe. For rail freight customers, transports should be much faster than ship transports and much cheaper than airfreight.

In the afternoon, two more agreements were signed in Vienna on joint transport services and other projects between China and Europe.
Source: http://www.oe24.at/oesterreich/politik/Hofer-Annaeherung-an-Moskau/322991429