Chinese investors have shown an interest in funding and constructing a Russian gauge high-speed rail link between Moscow and Kazan.
Alexander Misharin, the first vice-president of Russian Railways (RZD) and managing director of RZD’s, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, has held talks with Chinese investment and construction companies, including the Chinese Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) which was responsible for constructing the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world’s highest railway, and the Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway, China’s longest heavy-haul railway.
Journey times between Moscow and Kazan would be reduced to three hours and three minutes by the high-speed route, which is expected to cost €23 billion and have a line speed of up to 400 km/h.
Discussions with China follow the introduction of various trade sanctions against Russia since the shooting down of Malaysian flight MH17.
In September 2013, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, president of Alstom Transportation and the former chairman of UNIFE, and Valentin Gapanovich, senior vice-president of Russian Railways and president of the Russian Union of Industries of Railway Equipment (UIRE), signed a memorandum of understanding designed to create closer ties between Europe and Russia.
RZD had hoped to commission the 770-kilometre railway before the start of the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
The China Investment Corporation also showed an interest in the Eurasian High-Speed Corridor between Moscow – Beijing.