On 30 July 2010, Sapsan trains began running on the Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod line. With the launch of the Sapsan service between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Railways has established a new high-speed route: Nizhny Novgorod – Moscow – St Petersburg.
The ceremonial launch of the new Sapsan route took place at Nizhny Novgorod’s Moskovsky Station. Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin took part in the event.
“Today we have witnessed one more landmark step. This day has been eagerly awaited in Nizhny Novgorod, because now this city, with its population of over a million, will be linked to Moscow and St Petersburg by a high-speed, reliable, and comfortable means of transport”, Vladimir Yakunin said at the ceremony.
Sapsan services have been running between Moscow and St Petersburg since 17 December 2009, the company president remarked.
“Over this time, Sapsan trains have carried more than 880,000 passengers. The average occupancy rate of the trains is continually growing, and has reached almost 86%.”
“Sapsan is becoming a symbol of everything new and progressive. It is not only changing the profile of domestic rail transport. Sapsan represents our country’s prudent approach to development, with an emphasis on breakthrough technology”, Vladimir Yakunin said at the close of the ceremony.
To prepare for the high-speed service, the infrastructure oft the Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod line was modernized. The work was conducted from 2006 to 2010. Over this period, construction and reconstruction was carried out at 54 passenger platforms, 139 km of overhead lines were fully overhauled, barriers were built along 331 km of the route, and various other improvements were made.