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Extension of Trans-Siberian railway to Vienna to cost 6.5 bln euros

August 21, 17:51 UTC+3 VIENNA

Construction may start in 2023

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Vienna's Central Railway Station

Vienna's Central Railway Station

© EPA/ROLAND SCHLAGER

VIENNA, August 21. /TASS/. Extension of a wide gauge railway from Slovakia’s Kosice to Vienna may start in 2023 and will make possible to connect the Trans-Siberian railway to the center of Europe. Construction will cost 6.5 bln euros, the Austrian Ministry of Transport said in its business case on the Kosice - Vienna wide gauge railway.

"Austria is a logical destination of the Trans-Siberian railway. The Trans-Siberian railway will get a connection to the European rail network, shipping and Vienna airport with us," Austria’s Minister of Transport Jorg Leichtfried said within the presentation framework.

Construction may technically start in 2023 and the segment will be managed to be commissioned in 2023 then, the minister said. "I want to make Austria the logistical connecting link of Europe," Leichtfried said. The decision to build a 400-km long line from Kosice to Vienna should be made without delay, he added.

Extension of the wide gauge line with construction of a railway terminal can give a major impetus to the Austrian economy, the business case said. The project will make possible to annually run about 20,000 trains. Total costs of railway extension and dry dock construction will be nearly 6.5 bln euros. Construction will also make possible to create 127,000 jobs.

Sanctions of the European Union against Russia will not prevent implementation of this project because the EU supports the railway extension, the Austrian side said. The new segment will make possible to run trains from Vienna to Vladivostok, i.e. from Europe to the Pacific Ocean.

Railway companies of Austria, Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia founded a Vienna-registered joint venture in 2009 for the purpose of extending the 1,520 mm gauge railway from Kosice to Bratislava and then to Vienna. It was reported earlier the business case was to be prepared in December 2016. The wide gauge railway is planned to run from the Slovak-Ukrainian border to Bratislava with an exit to Vienna and establishment of a logistical hub on the Danube.

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