MOSCOW, October 15 (Itar-Tass) - High-Speed Rail Lines, the transport monopoly RZD subsidiary managing construction of services from Moscow to the central Russian city of Kazan, has reduced the maximum estimated cost for the project by 17% to 855 billion rubles, according to tender documents.
New figures have been drawn up to finance one of the Russian government's high-priority infrastructure projects. The line is to operate from 2018 to carry visitors attending the FIFA World Cup, being hosted by Russia. High-speed trains are intended to travel at 350-400 km/h per hour, cutting current 14-hour city-to-city journey times to 3-3.5 hours.
Costs had been estimated at 1 trillion, 068 billion rubles, comprising 1 trillion 031 billion for the rail line and 37 billion rubles for railway stations and trains, with 150 billion rubles allocated by the National Wealth Fund.
The construction firm's deputy chief executive officer, Fyodor Lychagin, said cost savings had been identified by advisers from accountants PWC, retained to audit the project’s financial model. “We have come to the conclusion there is some room to save money,” said Lychagin. Asked to identify specific items marked for savings, he said slight adjustments would be made to almost all of them.
Lychagin said final costs would be known once the feasibility study had passed state examination, due for completion in December.