Russia is planning to build new railway corridors to China in order to strengthen business ties and accommodate the growing volume of mutual cargo flows between the two countries. According to a document published on the government’s website, the construction of two railway corridors from Kemerovo Region and Krasnoyarsk Region is part of Russia’s strategy for the economic development of its Siberian Federal District.
One of the proposed lines is the North-Siberian railway, which will run from Altay Region to Urumqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Feasibility studies, including an investment assessment, are scheduled to be completed by 2025. The estimated cost of this 1,900km (1180-mile) railway is about 218 billion rubles ($2.3 billion).
According to Igor Levitin, a presidential aide, the North-Siberian line will connect the Eastern Polygon, which is part of the Trans-Siberian Railway transport corridor, with the Northern Sea route. This will provide a direct transportation link between Europe and Asia, passing through Siberia. The aim is to enhance connectivity and facilitate trade between the regions.
In addition to the North-Siberian railway, another railway route is planned to pass through the Republic of Tyva. This route includes the Kuragino-Kyzyl line and will stretch to the border between Russia and Mongolia. Once it crosses the border, it will divide into two lines. The northern branch will enter China in the city of Erlian, providing direct access to Beijing and Tianjin. The western branch will involve the construction of a railroad through the Mongolian city of Khovd and the Chinese city of Takashiken, leading to Urumqi.
These new routes are crucial for Russia and China as they continue to deepen their economic ties. Since Russia shifted its trade flows to Asian markets following Western sanctions related to Ukraine, both exports and imports between Moscow and Beijing have been growing at a double-digit pace. The new railway corridors will help facilitate and streamline this increased trade activity, allowing for smoother transportation of goods and improved logistics.
The construction of these railways is a significant investment for Russia, reflecting its commitment to enhancing connectivity and trade relationships with China. By expanding rail infrastructure, Russia aims to leverage its geographical advantage as a transit hub between Europe and Asia, further boosting economic development in the Siberian region.
Overall, the planned railway corridors between Russia and China signify the countries’ shared commitment to strengthening business ties and maximizing the potential of their growing trade relationship. These infrastructure projects will not only facilitate the transportation of goods but also promote regional development and connectivity, benefiting both nations.