In 2017 the activities of the Organisation for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD) were aimed at fulfilling the most important tasks, improving and developing the international railway carriage of passengers and goods, increasing their competitiveness in the vast Eurasian space, strengthening the regulatory framework in order to achieve the highest efficiency in the railway transport complex operation and meet the needs of the OSJD member countries in the transportation of passengers and goods.
A number of railways worked in difficult conditions caused by a complicated situation in the economic sphere, which required additional efforts to be made by them in order to tackle the problems arising in connection with this.
At the same time, railway transport demonstrated its leading role in the overall transport system and the ability to transform its capabilities for an unconditional implementation of a full range of transport services.
It’s worth mentioning that for the past period the majority of railways of the OSJD member countries have made a substantial reOrganisation and improvement of their management structure to adapt it to the real conditions and requirements of the 21st century, characterised by the desire for a significant technical progress in the development of railway transport.
In accordance with the measures and recommendations developed by OSJD jointly with the ministries and railways, a great deal of work has been done in the field of railways reconstruction and infrastructure modernization within all 13 OSJD transport corridors.
This result was facilitated by a well-coordinated and purposeful work of all railways of the OSJD member countries.
In 2017, in doing so, the Azerbaijani Railways carried 14558.2 thousand tons of goods. The volume of passenger transportation for 2017 reached 2490.3 thousand people reaching a level of 125.8%, including 163.8 thousand people in international traffic, which is 112.3% as a total.
A new railway line Baku – Tbilisi – Kars has been put into operation. By using this line running through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and further through the railway tunnel under the Bosphorus (subsequently connected with the Trans-European and Trans-Asian railway networks), a free movement of goods and passengers will be enabled from Asia to Europe and vice versa. The first freight train has already set off and passed along this line.
As the North-South international corridor is concerned, a railway line was commissioned from the Astara station to the Iranian state border, which length is 8.3 km, a railway bridge over the Astara River was built, a single-track 1520-mm railway line of 2.2 km long from the Azerbaijani border to a terminal in the Iranian territory was constructed, as well as a single-track connecting railway of 1.65 km long was laid along the Baku-Sumgait-Baku ring railway.
5 four-unit double-decker electric trains manufactured by the Swiss company “Stadler Rail Group” have been procured.
In 2017, the Byelorussian Railway transported 146.3 million tons of goods, including 112.783 million tons in international traffic (an increase of 15.4%).
Consistent work is carried out in collaboration with UTLC JSC and TransContainer PJSC to organise container traffic, which had resulted in an increase of 1.8 times of the volume of transit container service in the traffic China – European Union – China by 2016, amounting to 257 thousand TEUs. The traffic schedule provides for a run of 54 container specialised block trains through the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The average route speed is 1162 km/day.
Within the framework of the infrastructure development of the OSJD transport corridor No. 9, in 2017 the electrification works within the railway section of Molodechno – Gudogai – State Border with Lithuania were completed, that provided for an operation of electric rolling stock on international routes.
On 10 December 2017, the Byelorussian Railway jointly with the PKP Intercity JSC introduced an interchange passenger service on the route Warsaw – Brest – Minsk.
In 2017, 16 freight electric locomotives of BKG2 series from China and 264 freight wagons were purchased.
The Bulgarian State Railways transported 16.089 million tons of goods (11.3% against the level of 2016) in 2017, 21.2 million passengers (-1.1% against the level of 2016).
The railway sections of Septemvri – Plovdiv, Septemvri – Svilengrad (Bulgaria) – Kapykule (Turkey) and Mikhailovo – Stara Zagora – Karnobat were modernised during the reporting year.
In 2017 the Hungarian State Railways (MAV Start and GySEV) carried 146875635 passengers. 20 passenger coaches of CAF series were modernised and 10 new EMUs manufactured by the Stadler corporation were procured.
In freight traffic the goods turnover increased by 13.76% as compared to 2016.
On 27 November 2017 2 container block trains were launched from Hungary in the direction of the Chinese city of Changsha for the first time (from the logistics terminal of “Rail Cargo Hungaria” CJSC). This event has been an important step in providing an effective connection between the countries of the Silk Way and in the development of economic relations.
The MAV CJSC completed the reconstruction and modernization of the railway line and a number of railway stations, including those in the vicinity of the Lake Balaton and along the OSJD railway transport corridor No. 5. Thanks to the modernization, the capacity of the railway line has increased, whereas the buildings’ facades, waiting rooms, offices and other objects of railway infrastructure were renovated.
In 2017, the Iranian Railway transported 45248 thousand tons of goods, including 16476 thousand tons of goods in international traffic. 23909 thousend people were carried in passenger traffic.
In 2017, the construction of new railway lines continued on the following sections:
- Gazvin – Resht – Astara with a length of 164 km, which complements the international transport corridor “North – South”;
- Miane – Bostanabad with a length of 132 km;
- Chabahar – Zahedan railway with a length of 640 km, which will connect the port of Chabahar in the Gulf of Oman with the main railway network;
- Sangan – Haf – Herat railway, which will connect the Iranian railways with the railway of Afghanistan. The construction of the Haf – Samtig section with a length of 120 km in the territory of Iran began in October 2017.
In 2017, the electrification of the Tehran-Mashhad section began, a s a result of which an increase in the capacity of this section is expected.
The railway tracks on the route Baf – Zarrin-Shahr were modernized.
In 2017, 1126 new freight wagons of all types, 64 new passenger coaches, 2 new locomotives and 24 commuter trains were procured. 13 locomotives and 26 passenger trains were modernized.
As part of the programme for the development of fast and high-speed passenger railway network, the RAI project is being implemented on the route Tehran – Isfahan with a length of 410 km and the planned speed of 250 km/h on this route.
The Railway of Kazakhstan transported 272,118 million tons of goods (111.4% against the level of 2016) in 2017, of which 111.4 million tons were carried in international traffic (114.8% against the level of 2016).
23789.4 thousand (101.5%) passengers were carried, including 2153.1 thousand passengers in international traffic (103.9% against the level of 2016).
In 2017, 334 container trains passed along the new routes.
At the end of October 2017, the traffic on the second tracks on the Almaty-Shu railway section with a length of 113.7 km was opened, which made it possible to increase the capacity of this section by 4 times, providing a possibility of passing up to 124 pairs of trains.
В 2017 году компанией осуществлена модернизация 779 км железнодорожных путей. Приобретено 62 пассажирских вагона и 13 локомотивов отечественного производства.
In 2017 the company modernized 779 km of railway tracks. 62 passenger coaches and 13 locomotives of domestic production were purchased.
As part of the high-speed passenger traffic development in the Republic of Kazakhstan, running of 16 high-speed trains consisting of Tulpar-Talgo coaches has been successfully organised.
The Chinese Railways transported 3083.79 million passengers in 2017, which is 9.6% more than last year and 3687.5 million tons of cargoes, which is 10.7% more against the level of 2016.
In 2017, 3673 container freight trains were organised in the direction of China – Europe.
Since 1 May 2017, the unified CIM/SMGS consignment note can be used for the container trains running through the railway border crossing points of Alashankou, Khorgos, Manchuria, Erlian and Suifynhe.
In 2017, the Chinese Railways continued to take effective measures aimed at the development of railway container traffic between China and Europe, which ensured a large increase in the number of container trains running between China and Europe. In total, 2399 container block trains were organised in the direction of China – Europe in 2017, with an increase of 112%. In particular, 756 trains crossed the Manchuria-Zabaikalsk border crossing point, 349 trains passed through the border crossing point of Erlian – Zamyn-Uud, 1294 container block trains crossed the Alashankou-Dostyk and Khorgos-Altynkol border crossings. As of the end of 2017, 61 container train routes were organised in the territory of China as a total, running on the regular basis in the China-Europe service, whereas regular block trains run from 38 Chinese cities with destinations in 36 cities of 13 European countries.
In April 2017, at the initiative of the Chinese Railways, an Agreement for cooperation development in the field of container block train traffic organisation between China and Europe was signed between the railways of seven countries: China, Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland and Russia. In order to promote the speedy implementation of this Agreement, the Chinese Railways actively coordinate the interaction between the parties to the Agreement, holding an in-depth consultation with the participants during the first meeting of a joint working group for container train service development in the traffic between China and Europe (17-19 October 2017, Zhengzhou), having discussed the working mechanism of the joint working group, ways to improve the transportation organisation, the provision of services, the procedure for adhering new members, etc., having reached a consensus. The above measures will further contribute to the continued healthy development of container block trains traffic between China and Europe.
To provide a full use of the transportation capacity of 1520-mm gauge railways in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and further decrease in the transportation cost of container block trains running in the China-Europe traffic, the Chinese Railways jointly with the railways of Kazakhstan and Belarus organised six times and implemented a pilot project to form container trains on the principle of “combining three trains into two trains” on the network sections with a track gauge of 1520 mm and the separation of two trains into three trains upon arrival from the network sections with a gauge width of 1520 mm”. The Chinese Railways have agreed with the Russian Railways to increase the wagon number of container block trains in the China-Europe traffic passing through the border crossing point of Manchuria – Zabaikalsk on the territory of Russia, but no more than 68 wagons in one train.
In 2017, the Latvian Railway transported 43.785 million tons of cargoes, of which 42.136 million tons were in international traffic.
17494 thousand passengers were transported (101.5% to the level of 2016), of which 157 thousand passengers (106.5% to the level of 2016) in international traffic. 47.47 km of railway lines were modernized.
The Lithuanian Railways transported 52.638 million tons of cargoes in 2017 (110.5% against the level of 2016), including 37.098 million tons in international traffic (113.8% against the level of 2016).
4,418 million passengers (99.8%) were transported, including 0.803 million passengers (94.7%) in international traffic.
The “Lithuanian Railways” JSC introduced 10 new routes of container trains in the schedule of freight trains in 2017.
In 2017, the Rail Baltica project continued to be implemented. The construction of the 1435-mm gauge tracks on the Kaunas bypass branch on the Yesya-Rocai section was continued, which is planned to be completed in 2018.
In 2017 the “Lithuanian Railways” JSC electrified the railway section of the line Naujoji-Vilnia – Kana – the state border with the Republic of Belarus, with a length of 28.6 km.
The Railway of Moldova transported 4.8 million tons of cargoes (3493 million tons in 2016) in 2017 and 1.8 million passengers (2.2 million in 2016).
Within the framework of the project “Restructuring of the ‘Railway of Moldova’ State Enterprise”, financed by the EBRD and the EIB, procurement of new main traction rolling stock is envisaged in 2018-2020.
In the reporting year 29,854 wagons were transported under the use of the CIM/SMGS consignment note.
The Concept of Restructuring of the Railway Sector of Moldova and “Railway of Moldova” State Enterprise was approved.
In 2017 the Ulaanbaatar Railway carried 22.7 million tons of cargoes, which is 113.9% as compared to the previous year, and 2.6 million passengers.
A new terminal was opened at Olon Ovoo station.
Two new locomotives of the 2T25KM series were purchased.
In 2017 the Polish State Railways launched new container routes as follows: China – Europe – Germany; Poland – Czech Republic (Gdansk Port Polnocny – Vratimov).
Three multisystem cargo locomotives of Vectron type were purchased. The design of these locomotives is adapted for operation on the railway network of Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
Works were underway to modernize the railway lines that intersect with the OSJD railway corridors:
section Warsaw – Białystok – the border with Lithuania;
section Krakow – Rzeszów – Medyka;
section Warsaw – Gdynia.
The PKP Intercity JSC transported 42.8 million people in 2017 (an 11-% growth), including 1.1 million people in international traffic (a 17-% growth).
In the framework of the strategy the PKP Intercity JSC will modernize over 700 passenger coaches and purchase 185 new coaches until 2023. 118 new locomotives (single- and multi-system) will be procured, as well as 200 locomotives will be modernized. Part of the locomotives and wagons will be adapted to a speed of 200 km/h and above.
In 2017 1,384,100 thousand tons of goods were carried by the Russian Railways (104.2% to the level of 2016), of which 568,708 thousand tons (107.7% as compared to 2016) were transported in international traffic.
1,117,899 thousand passengers were carried (107.8% to the level of 2016).
The total volume of international traffic in 2017 amounted to 7,139,138 people, which is 1.6% less than in 2016.
A lot of work was done in 2017 to increase the speed of container trains on the route China – Europe – China, which allowed to increase the volume of transit container traffic by 61.5% as compared to the level of 2016.
Container transportation was organised along the routes Zamyn-Uud/Naushki – Changsha – Hamburg, Chongqing – Duisburg, Suzhou – Hamburg.
A new double-track railway line Zhuravka – Millerovo with a length of 137 km was commissioned in 2017, which became part of a fast-speed railway link connecting Central Russia with the Black Sea coast. With the introduction of a new train schedule for 2017-2018, over 120 long-distance passenger trains and up to 30 freight trains began to run on this section daily.
In 2017, within the framework of the development of a fast-speed and high-speed traffic on the network of the Russian Railways, the speed of passenger trains was increased on the sections of Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow – Smolensk, Moscow – Voronezh, Moscow – Belgorod, Moscow – Yaroslavl with a total length of 1,169 km.
In 2017, 459 locomotives (220 electric locomotives, 239 diesel locomotives) were purchased. 31 electric trains of “Lastochka” (Swallow) series were supplied. 1,231 new freight wagons were purchased and 6584 freight wagons were modernised. 425 passenger coaches were purchased, whereas 249 passenger coaches were modernised.
The “High-Speed Railways” JSC has been performing a great deal of work to implement the project of building a high-speed railway line between Moscow and Kazan, including with regard to cooperation with foreign partners to attract more advanced technologies to the project.
The volume of freight traffic carried by the Romanian Railways in 2017 amounted to 21.674 million ton-km, which is 97.91% as compared to the level of 2016.
The reconstruction of the state border line Kurtich – Simeria, which is part of the Pan-European corridor IV was completed for trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h.
In 2017, “CFR Marfa SA” carried 11,964 shipments under the use of CIM/SMGS consignment note.
The Slovak Railway transported 35.666 million tons of goods in 2017, which exceeds the level of 2016 by 0.9%. 72.5 million passengers were transported, which exceeds the level of 2016 by 10.4%.
In 2017 new container routes were organised:
- from Changsha (China) to Budapest (Hungary, Bilk terminal) through Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia;
- from Dalian (China) to Bratislava (Slovakia);
- from Chongqing (China) to Duisburg (Germany) through Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
In 2017 the Bratislava railway stations and the Luchenec railway station were reconstructed. The construction of the Lužianka integrated transport terminal was also started.
The railway lines of Puchov – Zilina, Nove Mesto nad Vahom – Puchov were modernised.
6575 wagons were transported under the use of the CIM/SMGS consignment note.
In 2017, the Tajik Railway transported 4.6 million tons of goods, which is 85.2% as compared to the level of 2016. 531 thousand passengers were carried, which is 117.4% as compared to the level of 2016.
Modernisation works of the railway lines Vahdat – Yavan and Vakhsh – Yavan were in progress.
The Uzbek Railways transported 86.4 million tons of goods in 2017 as well as 21.6 million passengers.
The implementation of the project for the construction of the railway line China – Kyrgyzstan – Uzbekistan was under consideration.
The following projects were implemented:
- Construction of the railway line Bukhara – Misken;
- Electrification of the railway section of Karshi – Termez;
- Construction of the electrified railway line Angren – Pap with the electrification of the Pap-Kokand-Andijan section;
- Electrification of the railway section Pap – Namangan – Andijan.
During the reporting period, 650 freight wagons and 15 passenger coaches were built.
The Ukrainian Railways transported 339.55 million tons of goods in 2017, including 179.55 million tons of those carried in international traffic (106.2% to the level of 2016).
During the year of 2017, 6 international container trains operated on the territory of Ukraine. Since June 2017, a container train has been organised along the route: China (Changsha) – Mongolia (Zamyn-Uud – Sukhe-Bator) – Russia (Naushki – Suzemka) – Ukraine (Zernovo – Chop) – Slovakia (Dobra) – Hungary (Budapest).
The passenger turnover in the long-distance traffic amounted to 22557.8 million pass-km for 2017, which is 6.2% more than in 2016.
In 2017, 50 new passenger coaches were procured and 51 passenger coaches were modernised. To facilitate and accelerate the procedure for crossing the border by the international train Kiev – Lvov – Przemysl, the implementation of customs and border screening during the international train running was implemented experimentally.
In order to update the fleet of freight wagons and locomotives, 2,721 freight wagons were purchased, and 58 locomotives were modernised in 2017.
In 2017, the Prague-Běchovice-Uvaly railway section of the Czech Railways, was modernized. Works have begun to implement the project for optimizing the Lisa-Vysocany railway line. Modernisation of the facilities within the Plzen railway junction was continued.
New electric locomotives of RegioPanter series were supplied for passenger transportation, as well as new multi-system Vectron electric locomotives were purchased.
In 2017, 15856 wagons were transported under the use of the CIM/SMGS consignment note.
The Estonian Railway transported 12.41 million tons of cargoes in 2017, which is 0.93% less than in 2016, as well as 7.44 million passengers, which is more by 7.38% as compared to the previous year.
The second stage of the railway tracks reconstruction in the Tallinn-Paldiski-Riisipere section with a total length of 72.1 km was under way.
The Estonian Railway JSC approved a long-term development programme of 5 + 5 years, on the basis of which investments are attracted to modernise the infrastructure. In an expanded format, these investments can be divided into two groups: investments aimed at increasing the speed of movement and investments in the renewal of the traffic control system. The average amount of investments is 30 million euros per year. The goal is to increase the permitted speed of passenger trains to 135 km/h within ten years and to update completely all the traffic control system available on the infrastructure.
In 2017 the work was successfully continued to increase multimodal transportation and create new container routes on the railways of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Hungary, Republic of Kazakhstan, People's Republic of China, Mongolia, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Poland, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Republic of Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Czech Republic. A total of 290 routes of container trains in international traffic have been organised on the railways of the OSJD member countries, of which more than 189 are on a regular basis.
The programme for the development of fast-speed and high-speed passenger traffic network on the railways of the People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Slovak Republic, Republic of Uzbekistan, Czech Republic and other countries, approved by session XXX of the OSJD Ministerial Conference, was successfully continued. The renovation of passenger rolling stock has been carried out in stages.
The issues of facilitation of the border crossing procedures by rail were of increased importance and required sooner solution for the OSJD member countries, that is confirmed by a successful implementation of Annex 9 to the Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Control for Goods of 1982, as well as the desire of some OSJD member countries to prepare and adopt the new Convention on facilitation of border control procedures for the cross-borders carriage of passengers and baggage by rail.
Much effort and attention in the OSJD activities is paid to the improvement of the OSJD legal framework. There is a positive dynamics in the increase in the number of consignments sent using the unified railway CIM/SMGS consignment note.
Work was carried out to update the Rules for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (Annex 2 to SMGS) and to bring them in line with other international regulations. At the moment, no changes and amendments have been adopted into Annex 2 to SMGS.
At the same time, SMGS Parties are currently working to find a compromise with regard to updating the Rules for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods with other international regulations.
In 2017, work was continued for the adoption of the text of the new Convention on Direct International Railway Traffic, which resulted in a successful organisation and holding of the second and third sessions of the International Conference for the adoption of the text of the Convention on Direct International Railway Traffic.
The works aimed at the application of the memoranda on cooperation in the field of technical, operational and commercial development of OSJD transport corridors was carried out with interest.
The work on drawing up and coordinating train schedules, following up and coordinating the volumes of international freight traffic, changing and improving the PGW Rules was fruitfully carried out.
Work was successfully carried out to develop and approve the leaflets on technical issues of railways in the field of rolling stock, dimensions, railway track and artificial structures, signaling and interlocking, power supply, electric traction, organisation of transportation with the use of paperless technology, as well as in the sphere of scientific and technical information.
Purposeful work was carried out in the field of improving financial and accounting activities, considering financial and accounting issues aimed at reducing the mutual debts of railways of the OSJD member countries.
Active work was performed within the subject “OSJD/ERA cooperation in the field of analysis of the interrelationship between the EU and non-EU railway systems, with a track gauge of 1520/1524 mm and 1435 mm” which made it possible to provide conditions for the interaction of railway systems in the EU and OSJD countries.
Much attention was paid to cooperation with international organisations, first of all, with UNECE, UNESCAP, EaEC, EU, OTIF, CIT, UIC, CCTT, FIATA and others.
The OSJD observers and affiliated enterprises participated fruitfully and contributed a lot to the OSJD activities.
Coordinated and active work aimed at the implementation of the planned targets, comprehensive measures aimed at improving and developing the railway transportation of passengers and goods, increasing their competitiveness, enabled the railways of the OSJD member countries to successfully cope with the tasks set for providing passenger and freight traffic in 2017.