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NIZHNY NOVGOROD, August 8. /TASS/. Regular railway service bypassing Ukraine may start this year, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told reporters.
"This year," the minister said in response to a corresponding question.
Sokolov stated earlier that the Zhuravka-Millerovo railroad line will provide high-speed transportation for passenger and freight trains to the south of our country and allow to avoid passing the border near Ukraine.
The project aims to develop railroad infrastructure in the South - West direction, increase its capacity and provide transport security for freight and passenger trains bypassing Ukraine’s territory.
In 2015, Russia decided to build a railway line leaving out Ukraine for trains going from the country’s central regions to the southern regions. In December 2016, Russian Defense Minister, General of the Army Sergey Shoigu stated that there were plans to build a railway line bypassing Ukraine before September 2017.
The trunk line will become part of the railway line connecting central Russia with the Black Sea coast. According to the project, passenger trains will have a 140km/h maximum passenger speed that can be increased to 160km/h and freight trains, up to 90km/h. There are plans to launch passenger trains on the line in autumn 2017.
The new railroad is 137km long and passes through the Voronezh and Rostov Regions. It is double-track and electrified, and seven new stations have been built there.