Russian Railways and Austrian Railways (ÖBB) have signed a cooperation agreement on three core activities at the railway companies.
These cover logistics and intensifying freight shipments between Asia and Europe, technology transfer and development, and implementing joint infrastructure projects.
One of the key points of the agreement is the intention to continue in 2011 the planning work on the construction of a broad-gauge railway line to Vienna, including the development of detailed proposals for funding and implementing the project, as well as for the business model and marketing strategy for the new broad-gauge and terminals.
“A continuously operating broad-gauge line from Russia, China and other Asian countries to Central Europe will create a competitive and environmentally friendly transport product across the Eurasian continent,” said Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways.
Christian Kern, Chairman of the Board at ÖBB, said: “We have great prospects for the realisation of this project and appreciate the fact that Russian Railways has selected Austrian Railways as a partner.”
The results of the preliminary, pre-project studies are now under consideration by the railway companies and public authorities in the countries involved – Russia, Austria, Slovakia and Ukraine.
A decision to start design work, including a detailed environmental impact assessment, selecting the optimal financial model to implement the plan and developing a business plan, could be taken this year.