“Possible route could see 400km/hour bullet train pass through heart of Siberia and Altai region with stops in major cities,” The Siberian Times Reports.
China has been working intensively on a $242 billion (1.5 trillion yuan) high-speed rail link between Beijing and Moscow. The aim is to cut the journey time from five to ‘two days’.
The railway will be 7,000 kilometers long. It will go through Kazakhstan and make travel easier between Europe and Asia.
“China is actively promoting its high-speed railway technology and sees Russia as an especially attractive market because of its strained relations with Western countries over Ukraine.
In October 2014 Russia and China signed a memorandum of understanding over a high-speed railway connection. Russian Railways then reported that its purpose was to plan for a high-speed Moscow – Beijing Eurasian transport corridor,” RT reported in January 2015. [Moscow To Beijing In 2 Days: China To Build $242bn High-Speed Railway]
Moreover, the friendship with North Korea potentially could give a boost to Russia’s plan of extending the trans-Siberian railroad into South Korea. [Russia And North Korea To Tighten Business Relations]
“The railway would be a powerful physical symbol of the ties that bind Moscow and Beijing, whose political relationship has roots dating from the Soviet era and who often vote together on the UN Security Council. They have strengthened their relationship as Western criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin mounts over Ukraine and other issues,” Mail Online reported in October last year.
In the original memorandum of understanding signed in October 2014, Beijing expressed interest in building a fast rail link between the Russian capital and Kazan in the oil-rich Tatarstan region, China Central Television (CCTV) reported. The 803-kilometre line would be the first stage of the route to Beijing, CCTV said.
In the meantime, further details of the proposed high-speed railway to link Moscow and Beijing through Siberia in just 33 hours have been unveiled.
“During the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum last week, it was revealed that two potential options for the routing of the track are being considered,” The Siberian Times reported.
Alexander Misharin, the First Vice-President of Russian Railways, said “There are two ways: through Kazakhstan, and our colleagues there are already planning that, and the second option through Barnaul and Novosibirsk, and through the Altai. The difference in the routes is 290km.“
A third option is to take the Eurasian rail link through Mongolia, allowing it to stop at Krasnoyarsk. However, the current focus is on the first part of the route between Moscow and Kazan.
“The total cost of the ambitious project is 20.5billion roubles, with six billion roubles being allocated this year alone. When it is eventually completed, the journey time between Moscow and Beijing would be slashed from six days to around 33 hours. Going south of the current Trans-Siberian route, it would also link both cities to the Kazakhstan capital Astana,” The Siberian Times reported.
“The Trans-Siberian Railway is often associated with the main transcontinental Russian line that connects hundreds of large and small cities of the European and Asian parts of Russia. At 9,259 kilometres (5,753 miles), spanning a record seven time zones and taking eight days to complete the journey, it is the third-longest single continuous service in the world, after the Moscow–Pyongyang 10,267 kilometres (6,380 mi) and the Kiev–Vladivostok 11,085 kilometres (6,888 mi) services, both of which also follow the Trans-Siberian for much of their routes.
The main route of the Trans-Siberian Railway begins in Moscow at Yaroslavsky Vokzal, runs through Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita and Khabarovsk to Vladivostok via southern Siberia.
A second primary route is the Trans-Manchurian, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian east of Chita as far as Tarskaya (a stop 12 km (7 mi) east of Karymskoye, in Chita Oblast), about 1,000 km (621 mi) east of Lake Baikal. From Tarskaya the Trans-Manchurian heads southeast, via Harbin and Mudanjiang in China’s Northeastern Provinces (from where a connection to Beijing is used by one of the Moscow–Beijing trains), joining with the main route in Ussuriysk just north of Vladivostok. This is the shortest and the oldest railway route to Vladivostok. Some trains split at Shenyang, China, with a portion of the service continuing to Pyongyang, North Korea.
The third primary route is the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian as far asUlan-Ude on Lake Baikal’s eastern shore. From Ulan-Ude the Trans-Mongolian heads south to Ulaan-Baatar before making its way southeast to Beijing.
In 1991, a fourth route running further to the north was finally completed, after more than five decades of sporadic work. Known as the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM), this recent extension departs from the Trans-Siberian line at Taishet several hundred miles west of Lake Baikal and passes the lake at its northernmost extremity. It crosses the Amur River at Komsomolsk-na-Amure (north of Khabarovsk), and reaches the Tatar Strait of the Sea of Japan at Sovetskaya Gavan.
On 13 October 2011 a train from Khasan made its inaugural run to Rajin in North Korea.” Wikipedia reports.