SOLNECHNOGORSK, June 25. /TASS/. The preliminary estimate of the cost of the Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway line construction stands at 1.5 trillion rubles ($23.9 bln), Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Maksim Akimov told reporters on Tuesday.
"The preliminary (estimate) is similar to that of Moscow-Kazan - 1.5 trillion (rubles). That is the most expensive section. Second, its length is 800 kilometers, just as long as to Kazan. Third, it is the construction of new lines. Fourth, it is the approach to Moscow and St. Petersburg," he said, adding that the most difficult part of such projects is the construction of approach (lines), not extended lines.
According to Akimov, the financial model of the project has not been specified so far, and the preliminary technical and economic feasibility study is not ready yet. "But that all looks very promising," he added.
In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the start of designing the Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway line project.
Prior to that, the construction of an 800-kilometer-long high-speed railway line between Moscow and Kazan was discussed. It would have allowed reducing the travel time between the cities from 11.5 to 3.5 hours. The project was estimated at 1.7 trillion rubles ($26.6 bln), with 700 bln rubles ($10.9 bln) being a state grant. Deputy Prime Minister Maksim Akimov said earlier that the implementation timeline was under revision. Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a final decision on the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway line had not been made yet, and the work would be continued to define its economic viability.
Transport Ministry plans to provide a preliminary estimate of the cost of the Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway line project in August 2019. Russian Railways will be able to start designing as early as this autumn.