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Russia planning two new railroads to China

Building transport corridors is part of a government plan to expand trade

Russia is committed to building railroads to China, as the two countries are boosting business ties and mutual cargo flows are growing rapidly.

Two railway corridors – from Kemerovo Region and Krasnoyarsk Region – are part of the strategy for economic development of Russia’s Siberian Federal District, according to a document that was published on the government’s website on Monday.

One of the proposed lines will see the construction of the North-Siberian railway, which would run through Altay Region to Urumqi – the capital of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Feasibility studies, including an investment assessment, are due to be completed in 2025.

Earlier this month, presidential aide Igor Levitin said that the North-Siberian line would connect the Eastern Polygon, which is part of the Trans-Siberian Railway transport corridor between Europe and Asia, passing through Siberia, with the Northern Sea route. The estimated cost of the planned 1,900km (1180-mile) railway is about 218 billion rubles ($2.3 billion).

Read more

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The second railway route should pass through the Republic of Tyva and include the Kuragino-Kyzyl line. It would stretch to the border between Russia and Mongolia, dividing into two lines once it crosses the border. The northern branch of the route would enter China in the city of Erlian, opening up direct access to Beijing and Tianjin.

The western branch would involve the construction of a railroad that would go through the Mongolian city of Khovd and the Chinese city of Takashiken to Urumqi.

New routes to China are needed as the two countries are deepening economic ties. Both exports and imports between Moscow and Beijing have been surging at a double-digit pace, after Russia pivoted trade flows to Asian markets in the wake of Ukraine-related Western sanctions.

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