Russia and the Russian State Railways have clear goals: from China to the EU border in 7 days. A test container did it in 14 days under optimal conditions.
Russia also plans to build 20,000 km of track, buy 23,000 locomotives and procure approximately one million wagons by 2030. From the Russian side, there is no shortage of investments around the Transsib.
But there is no shortage of plans and investments on the Chinese side either.
China has launched a EUR 900 billion investment program for the new Silk Road. This is the largest development program since the Marshall Plan that rearranged and rebuilt Europe after World War II. The project involves networking Eurasia. This means that it is not just about the railways, but also about sea routes, pipelines, airports, and roads.
The train is, of course, an essential part of this project since it is the fastest mass transport between China and Europe in freight transport. It also plays an important role with regard to passenger traffic, for example, through high-speed traffic between metropolitan areas.
The project’s rail corridors are shown in dashed lines in the following illustration.
The Trans-Siberian Railway will continue to be an important part of the Silk Road in the future. Even if there are a lot of investments in the route via Kazakhstan, most of the trains in the last section go via Russia and Ukraine.
That is why the expansion and expansion of the Transsib are of course also very important in this project, since it is already being used extensively and is therefore an essential part of intercontinental traffic between Europe and Asia.
The new Silk Road is valuable for national and international rail infrastructures and it shows that the limits of the railroad are far from being reached.
The Trans-Siberian Railway is not just a railway line, but an important trade route between Asia and Europe. It has become indispensable for the economy of both continents and for trade between them.
Personally, we are pleased that Eurasia is growing closer and closer together by rail, as economic competence centers, regions rich in raw materials, large metropolises, but also cultures and societies are linked here on both sides.
We would also like to say once again that only such large-scale projects with the participation of several countries and continents show what the train has to offer in passenger, but above all in freight transport. You can and must simply think, plan and practice across known dimensions and structures.
We are already looking forward to taking the train and exploring the new Silk Road in a few years.