Russia tenders $360m high-speed rail contract

The construction of the Moscow-Kazan line, to be implemented as a PPP, would be the largest infrastructure project currently under development in the country.

Russia last week issued an open tender for works related to the construction of the first section of the HSL-2 link, a high-speed rail line that aims to connect six constituent entities of the 144-million-strong federation.

The public-private partnership (PPP) contract, the maximum price of which has been set at RUB20.79 billion (€327 million; $359 million), would involve carrying out engineering surveys, project development, route demarcation planning and project documentation for the construction of the Moscow-Kazan part of the line.

The section would be 770 kilometres long and comprise 15 stops, including Moscow, Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, Cheboksary and Kazan. Annual passenger numbers in the first years of the line's operation are estimated at 10.5 million.

The launch of the link, according state agency JSC High-Speed Rail Lines (JSC), would ensure a fourfold reduction of the travel time between Moscow and Kazan – cutting it down from the current 14 hours on the existing railway infrastructure to about 3.5 hours.

“International experience confirms that infrastructure development projects greatly stimulate the real economy and the development of small and medium-sized businesses,” said Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways, in a statement. “We are confident that both Russian and foreign companies with experience in designing and constructing high-speed railway lines will take part.”

JSC expects more than 373,000 jobs to be created through the construction of the line. It reckons its cumulative effects will add an extra RUB7.2 trillion to economic growth.

It also believes that the Moscow-Kazan line, once operational, will generate additional tax revenues of RUB2.3 trillion for the period of 2019-2030 – which it says is more than the total cost of the project.