Putin opens longest Trans-Siberian tunnel

Lazy eyes listen


The longest tunnel along the Trans-Siberian railway was opened on Friday, with Russian President Vladimir Putin participating via video link. The Kerak Tunnel, which spans 927 metres and is located in Amur Region.

Putin has stated that Russia will undertake multiple big infrastructure projects in the following decade, particularly in railway transportation.

To switch from the 1911 tunnel to a modern facility – that means a lot to us in general, a for today’s situation, in particular,” Putin noted, referring to the fact that the existing passage was declared no longer operational back in 2010 due to its poor condition. Experts concluded that it would make more sense to build a new tunnel than try to repair the original one.

The double-track tunnel was completed almost a year ahead of schedule, Omur Region Governor Vasily Orlov noted. The iconic Trans-Siberian railway spans 9,289km (5,772 miles), running from Moscow all the way to Vladivostok.

The new tunnel is projected to raise average train speed along the railway as well as the capacity of this particular segment – from 120 million to 131 million tonnes per year. This should result in more commodities being carried to and from Asian-Pacific markets.

Putin declared during the event, which was part of the Fourth Railway Convention in Moscow, that the “upcoming decade will become a decade of major construction [works], big projects, including in the field of railway transport.” The Trans-Siberian railway will be modernised, as will new Arctic and Pacific lines, with the goal of generating a “globally competitive transport services market” and constructing a continent-wide transport corridor.

The president expressed hope that these projects would give an economic boost to numerous Russian regions, adding that Moscow has been actively cooperating with Beijing and New Delhi in the area of infrastructure.

Russia has been expanding its economic links with Asian nations in recent years, but the process has quickened since the EU and US placed sanctions on Moscow and limited trade relations to a bare minimum due to the Ukraine war. The Federal Customs Service of Russia estimates that commerce with Asia will account for almost 70% of total trade turnover between January and September 2023.