/  Performance overview / Passenger transportation / Speed transportation

Speed transportation

Russian Railways has already implemented several successful projects in speed and high-speed passenger transport using of the modern electric trains Sapsan, Allegro and Lastochka.

During their initial operating period, these high-speed electric trains transported over 12.5 million people, with 10.9 million people carried by Sapsan and 1.1 million by Allegro. During the first year of operation, 511,187 people travelled via the high-speed electric train Lastochka.

The average capacity usage of Sapsan trains is consistently high, at 92.7%. However, there is a shortage on the Moscow-St.Petersburg route, and the demand has not been satisfied. In order to meet passenger demand for high-speed electric transportation, double-decker Sapsan trains will be placed in service in 2014.

Increase of passenger traffic of high-speed transport in 2013
compared to 2012.
Number of transported people

12.5 mln
during the operation of high-speed electric trains.

Main characteristics of high-speed trains

Train Start of operation Routes
Max speed – 250 km/hour
17.12.2009 Moscow – St.Petersburg
Number of trains – 7 pairs per day
30.07.2010 Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod
Number of trains – 2 pairs per day
Max speed – 220 km/hour
12.12.2010 St.Petersburg – Helsinki
Number of trains – 4 pairs per day
Max speed – 160 km/hour
23.01.2013 St.Petersburg – Bologoye, Veliky Novgorod
Number of trains – 2 pairs per day
28.04.2013 – 31.07.13 Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod
Number of trains – 1 pair per day

High-speed transport scheme

Currently, occupancy of the Allegro trains does not exceed 50%. However, in 2013, transportation on the Moscow-Helsinki route with the same number of trains (4 pairs of trains per day) demonstrated stable growth compared with 2012. In particular, the number of tickets sold increased by 30.2%. The increase in passenger flow was largely due to the implementation of a new flexible tariff scheme based on the date and time of the train departure and taking into consideration high and low seasons and occupancy rate.

Overall, in 2013 passenger traffic on high-speed electric trains increased by 9.2% compared with 2012, to 1.92 passenger-kilometres, and the total number of transported passengers increased by 18.1%, to 3.8 million people.

Passenger turnover in speed transport, bn passenger-kilometres

* high-speed electric train Sapsan started operation in December 2009.
** data for 2009 with regards to the high-speed electric train Allegro is unavailable as the train started operation in 2010.

In order to enhance service quality, the modernisation of Sapsan trains was completed in 2013. To provide more comfort cars No 1 (first-class) and No 2 (second-class) were fully renovated. The first modernised train started operation on July 15, 2013 between Moscow and St.Petersburg. Since 1 December 2013, all Sapsan trains have now been modernised.

Development of speed and high-speed transportation is determined by “Development of Speed and High-Speed Transportation Program for Russian Railways Railroad Network in a long term perspective by 2020” and “Railroad Transport Development Strategy in Russian Federation by 2030”.

Implementation of Russian Railways speed and high-speed transportation development projects will be held through 2 stages:

The first stage (2014–2020) The second stage (2021–2030).

Investment volume by 2020 – RUB 1,334.7 billion
(in 2013 prices excluding VAT) namely
speed transportation development – RUB 291.6 billion
high-speed transportation development – RUB 1,043.1 billion


Organizing high-speed transportation on special main lines, train speed up to 300-400 km/h in Moscow – Nizhniy Novgorod – Kazan direction.

Organizing speed transportation between large regional centers on the basis of the existing infrastructure, maximum train speed is 160-200 km/h including:

  • Moscow – Yaroslavl direction;
  • Moscow – Suzemka (with further extension to Kyiv)
  • Moscow – Krasnoye (with further extension to Minsk and deeper into Europe)

The First Stage Results (by 2020)

Total length of speed and high-speed lines in Russian Railways system is about 3.3 thousand km, including:

  • High-speed lines – about 0.8 thousand km;
  • Speed lines – 2.5 thousand km.

Total speed and high-speed passenger traffic is nearly 14.1 million people annually including:

  • Speed trains – 7.7 million people;
  • High-speed trains – 6.4 million people

Total number of speed and high-speed trains are 45 pairs, including:

  • Speed trains – 22 pairs;
  • High-speed trains – 23 pairs.

Investment of RUB 7,045.9 billion by 2030 – (in 2013 prices excluding VAT):
High performancerail transportat development – RUB 1,810.6 billion.
high-speed transportat development – RUB 5,235.2 billion.


Implementing high-speed transportat on special main lines,
train speeds up to 300-400 km/h on routes:

  • Moscow – Rostov – Adler;
  • Moscow – St. Petersburg;
  • Kazan – Yekaterinburg with branch line Kazan – Samara and also branch line to Perm and Ufa (new higher speed line).

Implementing high performance rail transport between major regional centers on the basis of the existing infrastructure, maximum train speed of 160-200 km/h including:

  • Moscow – Tula – Oryol – Kursk ;
  • Povolzhye (Saransk – Samara – Penza; Samara – Saratov; Saratov – Volgograd);
  • the Urals (Yekateringburg – Chelyabinsk);
  • Siberia (Novosibirsk – Omsk, Barnaul, Kemerovo, Novokuznetsk and Krasnoyarsk connections);
  • the Far East (Khabarovsk – Vladivostok).

Results of the  second stage (by 2030)

Total length of higher speed and high-speed lines in the Russian Railways system is more than 11.8 thousand km, including:

  • High-speed lines – 4.3 thousand km;
  • Higher Speed lines – more than 7.5 thousand km.

Total higher speed and high-speed passenger traffic – 69.1 million people per year including:

  • Higher Speed trains – 13.5 million people;
  • High-speed trains – 55.6 million people.

Total number of hugher speed and high-speed trains- 261 pair including:

  • Hugher Speed trains – 47 pairs;
  • High-speed trains – 214 pairs.

The most promising and priority project for construction of new sections for higher-speed and high-speed transportation is the high-speed railway HSML-2 main line Moscow–Kazan . The section will be 770 km long, with a maximum speed- of up to 400 km/h.

HSML Moscow-Kazan will connect the territories of seven entities of the Russian Federation: Moscow, the Moscow Region, the Vladimir Region, the Nizhny Novgorod Region, the Chuvash Republic, the Mari El Republic and the Tatarstan Republic.

The section will help reduce travel time between Moscow and Kazan fourfold: from the current 14 hours to 3.5 hours; the travel time between Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan will be reduced sevenfold: from 10 h 32 min down to 1 h 37 min. HSML Moscow–Kazan will assist in increasing population mobility.

In 2013 Russian Railways prepared the case for investment into the construction of the Moscow–Kazan section of the high-speed main line Moscow–Kazan–Yekaterinburg as well as the financial and legal process for project implementation.

In order to verify the received materials under the global practice of HSML project construction Russian Railways conducted an audit of the investment case using external auditors from the  audit companies.

Ключевые проекты ВСМ

HSML: Kazan – Samara

  • 560 km long
  • transportation volume by 2030 – 2.8 billion pass-km
  • Passenger traffic – 5 million pass.

HSRML 1: Moscow – St.Petersburg

  • Travel time- 2.5 h (659 km)
  • Transportation volume by 2030- 11.7 billion pass-km
  • Passenger traffic –17.8 million pass.
  • Connects 2 biggest cities

HSML 2: Moscow – Kazan – Yekaterinburg

  • Travel time 7 h. (1,532 km)
  • Transportation volume by 2030- 17 billion pass-km
  • Passenger traffic – more than 23 pass (Moscow – Kazan – up to 18.2 million pass)
  • Connects 4 biggest cities of Russia, and also 2 cities of major transport routes.

HSML -3: Center-South

  • Moscow – Rostov-on-Don – Adler
  • 1,540 km long
  • Transportation volume by 2030 – 14.0 billion pass-km
  • Passenger traffic – 17.7 million pass.