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CIS international railway passenger traffic down 5.5% in January-August 2019

Economy 15.10.2019 | 17:47
Archive photo
Archive photo

MINSK, 15 October (BelTA) – In January-August 2019, international passenger traffic in the CIS member states decreased by 5.5% year-on-year, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov said at the 71st meeting of the CIS Council for Rail Transport which is running in Minsk on 15-16 October, BelTA has learned.

“In January-August 2019, the number of international passengers decreased by 5.5% to total 12.4 million people,” Oleg Belozerov said.

The decrease in international passenger traffic presents a problem for railway administrations of every CIS country and for the CIS railway network in general, Head of the Belarusian Railways Vladimir Morozov told journalists. “We understand that our main problems are prices and old passenger trains,” he noted.

In order to attract more passengers, we need to launch new routes and introduce common regulations to upgrade the fleet, Vladimir Morozov believes. The CIS railways should develop products to increase the speed of transportation, for example, study prospects for high-speed traffic, Vladimir Morozov said.

Apart from the reduction in passenger traffic, the CIS countries reported a slight decrease in freight traffic in 2019. “In January-September 2019, a total of 1.5 billion tonnes of cargo was transported via the CIS railways. This was down 0.6% over the same period of 2018,” Oleg Belozerov said. He noted that most railway administrations still managed to meet the growth target.

At the same time, railway container traffic is booming: it soared by 14.3% in January-September 2019. “We have achieved this thanks to launching new routes, introducing new technologies, creating legal conditions (including tariff regulation), and reducing transit time,” Oleg Belozerov noted.

The CIS Council for Rail Transport is set to consider issues that determine coordination of activities of the CIS railways in organization of international transportation of passengers and goods, joint use of freight cars and containers, mutual settlements for transportation services, and development of common regulatory documents. The heads of railway administrations are expected to meet as well.

Attending the meeting are delegations from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. The list of participants also includes representatives of Georgia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and Iran.

The CIS Council for Rail Transport and its executive body, the directorate of the council, were set up on 14 February 1992 to secure sustainable economic ties in the CIS. The council coordinates the work of railway transport at the interstate level and works out harmonized principles of its activity, organizes joint use of freight cars and containers.

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