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Northern Latitudinal Railway to Become Test Ground for Construction Technologies

The Scientific and Technical Council on the Practical Issues of Constructing the Northern Latitudinal Railway met at Russian Railways on 2. April 2019.

The meeting was attended by Dmitry Artyukhov, Governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Vladimir Chepets, Head of the Federal Agency of Railway Transport of the Russian Federation, representatives from Gazprom, the company-concessionaire of the Northern Latitudinal Railway LLC, transport experts and Russian Railways specialists.

“The new railway line will lend additional momentum to the intensive development of resources in the Arctic region and, as a result, the development and strengthening of the Russian economy,” said Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, in his welcoming speech. “The distance will be reduced by more than 760 km, cutting delivery times for deposits from the northern regions of Western Siberia and the Tyumen region.”

According to the head of Russian Railways, the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway poses a number of challenges to all the parties involved due to the region’s special climatic conditions.

“Innovative materials that work reliably at low temperatures should be widely used. At the same time, the long-term climate change forecast must be taken into account, because I’m convinced that this line will still be working in the next century,” said Oleg Belozerov.

Council members noted that the Northern Latitudinal Railway is optimally suited for the application of technologies requiring low staff levels. In particular, the new line should be equipped with the most modern low-maintenance automation, remote control and communications systems, all of which should be based on a reliable power supply. Mechanical engineers will help to develop track machines with special modifications to enable them to function in the conditions of the Far North.

The concession agreement for the creation of the Northern Latitudinal Railway was signed in October 2018. The new line will result in a significant reduction in the length of transport routes from deposits in the northern regions of Western Siberia to the ports of the Baltic, White, Barents and Kara seas. In addition, the implementation of the NLR project will help to solve the problem of congestion on the existing southern route, which joins up with the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The project’s implementation will make possible the unhindered passage of additional traffic volumes amounting to 23.9 million tons per annum by 2025.

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