Resolution of the II Railway Congress

The II Railway Congress took place on the threshold of the 175th anniversary of Russian railways, the development of which has determined the modern shape of Russia.

Historically, railways have been the infrastructural basis of the country, and rail transport workers are active, professional and responsible representatives of the society. The efficient functioning of rail transport is exceptionally important in ensuring the sustainable development of the Russian economy and increasing living standards of the country’s population.

Since the I Railway Congress held in 2007, railway workers and their partners have carried out large-scale work in restructuring the industry and securing its innovation-led development. The participants of the Congress note the great significance of state support for rail transport provided in accordance with the decisions of the President of the Russian Federation and the Russian Government, especially at a time of crisis.

Rail transport, which accounts for approximately 2% of the national GDP and provides for 1.5% of employment, is a strategically defining element in the Russian economy and a key factor in the modernisation of the country.

It is, therefore, necessary to define the priority areas and objectives in terms of the railway industry’s long-term innovative development, augmentation of the capacity of its employees, strengthening of partnership with industrial enterprises and development of international cooperation.

The Congress emphasizes the importance of updating and expanding the railway infrastructure and securing its cutting-edge development in order to accelerate the socio-economic development of the country, as well as the key role of further state support in the implementation of the relevant investment projects.

The absolute priorities are to:

  • update and consistently implement measures to put into effect the Strategy for Developing Rail Transport in the Russian Federation up to 2030 in the context of the post-crisis development, modernisation and diversification of the economy;
  • complete on schedule the work on construction of the infrastructure for the transport service for the APEC 2012 Summit in Vladivostok, the XXVII World Summer Universiade in 2013 in Kazan, and the XXII Winter Olympics and the XI Winter Paralympics in 2014 in Sochi;
  • reach specific decisions on the large-scale development of the Baykal-Amur and Trans-Siberian railways by 2015 in order to create a boost for the economic renewal of Siberia and the Far East and to equalise the level of infrastructural provision in Russia’s regions;
  • bring the total investment into the modernisation of the railway infrastructure up to 1% of GDP whilst increasing the overall ability of the Russian economy to generate investment;
  • expand the public–private partnership sphere in order to implement major railway projects, and to accelerate the creation of the relevant legal and regulatory framework;
  • based on RZD’s experience to develop a system of infrastructure bonds as a matter of priority.

The Congress also considers that increasing the quality of passenger transport, increasing price affordability and expanding the range of passenger services are priority objectives.

In order to fulfil these objectives it is necessary to:

  • complete the establishment of a state federal and regional procurement system for socially significant suburban transport;
  • create a balanced economic model for passenger transport operations which not only ensures that carriers and the infrastructure break even in their operations but also provides sources for a return on investment;
  • step up innovative processes aimed at creating modern, highly efficient passenger rolling stock and applying advanced foreign technologies while localising production in Russia.

The participants of the Congress note the success of projects that have been implemented in setting up fast passenger transport, as well as the high level of popular demand for expanding comfortable, fast, safe and environmentally friendly rail transport between regions. It is, therefore, necessary to accelerate the creation of a basic network of high-speed and express transport routes.

The country requires that we:

  • create a dedicated infrastructure to provide for high-speed passenger transport on the Moscow – St Petersburg route by 2018;
  • raise train speeds between the most developed conurbations in Russia as a part of preparation of infrastructure for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia;
  • expand the number of fast trains linking the cities of Russia and of foreign countries on a regular basis.

The Congress considers that ensuring the security of the transport process and raising the level of anti-terrorist protection of rail transport facilities are the most important priorities in the development of rail transport. Significant attention must be devoted to protecting the environment and to making rail transport still more environmentally friendly.

The participants in the Congress recognise that one of the main objectives is the need to increase the quality of rail freight transport and to make it more efficient for freight owners, as well as to optimise the transport process in the context of the industry’s restructuring.

The long-term objective is to develop modern logistics systems, to make container transport faster, and to create a network of modern terminals and freight yards.

It is possible to systematically increase the quality of transport on the basis of balanced development of public and non-public rail transport and ports, provided that all participants in the market consolidate their efforts.

The Congress emphasizes that reforms need to be carried out in a balanced way. Structural changes should be implemented without the risk of infringing the stable and efficient work of the industry, degrading the quality of service to customers, or reducing the quality of life of railway workers.

The participants of the Congress note the need for a more efficient utilisation of all types of resources, for a 30% rise in labour productivity by 2015 with the aim of increasing the financial sustainability of railway enterprises, as well as the need to ensure on this basis an appropriate level of well-being for railway workers.

The Congress supports the continuation of RZD’s cooperation with Russian and foreign partners in the field of developing and increasing the production of new rolling stock, employment of modern software, introduction of energy-saving technologies and in other areas.

The Congress participants note that the importance of rail transport in integration processes and its role in international economic cooperation will grow substantially in accordance with the continuing modernisation of the country, the globalisation of the economy, and the expansion of its internal and external transport and economic links, particularly with the creation of the Common Economic Space and the Customs Union.

In connection with this the following points apply:

  • In terms of increasing freight flows in the context of integrating Russian railways into the Eurasian transport system, it becomes especially important for partner relations with foreign railways to be strengthened, for transport companies to join forces in creating new logistics products, and for business projects to be implemented jointly.
  • The balanced development of the railway infrastructure across the full extent of the international transport corridors is an important factor in increasing Russia’s transit potential.
  • Harmonising transport law and transport documents for rail and mixed transport, and simplifying border and customs procedures will enable us to significantly increase the efficiency of international rail transport between Europe and Asia.

The Congress participants express their support for the People’s Initiatives Programme pursued by the All-Russia People’s Front and the programme of the United Russia party.