Russia and Kazakhstan agree route for high-speed EurAsia Land Bridge

Plans for a  300km per hour  high-speed EurAsia Land Bridge rail link running from China to Western Europe via Russia and Central Europe  came one step closer to fruition this month when  Russia and Kazakhstan agreed a route for the tracks across  the two country’s territories which  will see the  service run from  Moscow to Aktynol close to the dry port of Khorgos on the Kazakh-Chinese border, provisionally via Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Gorbunovo, Petropavlovsk, Kokshetau, Astana, Karaganda, Balkhash and Almaty.
The two sides have  agreed to set up a working group by the end of the year that will be tasked with preparing a detailed feasibility study for the project, which is expected to take nearly 20 years to complete. Both Moscow and Beijing have high hopes for the project, with Russia  calculating that volumes of cargo traffic will rise from 6.4m tons in 2030 to over 12m tons in 2050. China is even more bullish and expects that figure to have reached 15m tons by midway through the current century.
“The Eurasian high-speed corridor connecting China with Western Europe project through the territory of Kazakhstan and Russia is important for both our countries,” First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told the Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan, where the agreement was announced. “We now hope to enter into constructive negotiations with China and Belarus and with  our European partners.”
China has already agreed to invest around $7bn in the project, around 25% of which is earmarked for the Moscow-Kazan leg of the rail link. A German consortium, whose members include Siemens, Deutsche Bank and  Deutsche Bahn have also put up more than $3bn for the Moscow-Kazan  section, and  construction is expected to begin next year.

Source: Gazeta