First Vice President of Russian Railways Alexander Misharin took part in the panel session “The Arctic: A New Economic Space” at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“Without railroads, it would be difficult to imagine the development of the Arctic. Russia has accumulated vast experience in the construction and operation of railways in permafrost conditions. In order to attract additional cargo to the Northern Sea Route and develop new fields, it is necessary to further develop port areas and railroad approaches to them,” Mr. Misharin said in his speech.
According to him, projects for the development of railway approaches to the ports of northwestern Russia are being implemented. Thus, the total investment in the development of Ust-Luga transport hub and approaches already amounts to about 200 billion rubles. To increase the turnover of the port of Murmansk from 20 million to 27–30 million t per year through 2020 requires an additional infrastructure hub costing 120 billion rubles and another 30 billion rubles for the development of railway approaches to St. Petersburg.
“As a result, a year-round transportation hub will be built in Murmansk, which will be a logical continuation of the North–South Transport Corridor,” said Mr. Misharin.
According to him, there are great prospects for the construction of a northern latitudinal railway with direct access to the port of Sabetta. This will enable the development of the unique deposits of Yamal and the entire Arctic zone and will integrate the railways of the Ural region and the northwest and form a new transit corridor in connection with China.