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Ministry develops passenger train delivery scheme to Crimea via Russia

April 06, 2014, 16:09 updated at: April 06, 2014, 16:40 UTC+3 PORT KAVKAZ (Krasnodar territory)
“If tourists from Russian cities prefer to go to Crimea by traditional passenger trains via Ukraine this year, we are prepared to offer alternative variants to them,” russian Transport Minister said
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© Itar-Tass/ Alexander Ryumin

PORT KAVKAZ (Krasnodar territory), April 06. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Transport Ministry has developed different variants of passenger train delivery to the Russian Republic of Crimea on the Russian territory in the summer season of 2014, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters after a meeting devoted to Crimea’s transport accessibility at port Kavkaz in southern Russia’s Krasnodar Territory on Sunday. Railway delivery of passengers to the peninsula through the Kerch ferry line is being considered on instruction from Russian government.

“If tourists from Russian cities prefer to go to Crimea by traditional passenger trains via Ukraine this year, we are prepared to offer alternative variants to them,” the minister said.

Around 2-3 million people from Russia are expected to visit Crimea during upcoming season of vacations, Sokolov said. The tourist flow will reach its peak in three summer months, other tourists will go on vacations in May and September-October 2014. “As many as 500 thousand people will visit Crimea during the highest vacation season monthly, this is daily flow of around 10 thousand to 15 thousand passengers for transport industry,” Sokolov added.

A large number of tourists will fly to Crimea by airliners, he said. “In the summer period around 140 flights will be made there weekly,” the minister said. The ministry hopes for a larger number of flights after subsidising of Crimean transport routes is considered.

Intercity shuttle buses will account for some part of passenger flow. “We have seven Crimea-Taman routes and are pondering resumption of previously running 22 bus routes,” Sokolov said.

Railways are prepared to cater for the bulk of tourists. The minister added that the number of train-pairs might be increased to 24 in case of a higher demand on trips to Crimea via Krasnodar Territory. “Train passengers will arrive in the towns of Anapa or Krymsk [Russia’s Krasnodar territory], where we are prepared to arrange bus delivery to port Anapa and port Kavkaz and further on by Russian sea-going catamarans and ferryboats to Crimean ports,” he said.

Passengers will get on buses already on the Crimean coast and will go to their places of vacations on the peninsula. “The Crimean transport ministry confirmed that it was prepared to provide for these transport links on the peninsula,” the minister said, adding that “In essence, 4 thousand people daily are a quite feasible task for Crimean transport industry.

“But the transport directorate [an autonomous non-profit organisation set up in 2009 and previously named as the transport directorate of the Sochi Olympics] is prepared to give a shoulder in case of necessity and help in passenger delivery in Crimea,” the transport minister said.

Passenger delivery right in trains through the Kerch ferry line is not considered, because current ferry line can be used only for freight traffic. “The standard duration of a ferryboat trip is 200-210 minutes or 3-3.5 hours,” Sokolov said, adding that “During ferryboat trips train wagons are disconnected from electric power supply, the trains are reshaped and those ferryboats that deliver freight wagons now cannot traffic passengers.”

The minister added that three ferryboats operate for passenger delivery on Kerch ferry line and a fourth ferryboat Sevastopol will go on the line by the summer season. The delivery capacity of these ferryboats is enough to traffic tourists from the Taman peninsula in Krasnodar Territory to the Russian Republic of Crimea. Meanwhile, a passenger will be offered to buy ‘a common ticket’ when he will be able to pay for the whole trip at once - for train, bus and ferryboat trips - from the place of departure to the place of vacations in Crimea. The issue of ‘common ticket’ will have been settled by the start of the summer season and these tickets will be offered for sale.

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