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Two kilometers of friendship

China and Russia are connected by direct rail service through the Amur

The bridge transition from the Russian Nizhneleninsky (Jewish Autonomous Region) to Chinese Tongjiang is a unique project. The cross-border facility should for the first time directly connect the two Asian economies divided by the Amur River, in which even the standards for the width of the railway track are different. How to meet the huge need for freight exchange between the RF and the PRC and to join the two parts of one bridge, it was not possible to understand at once.

Two kilometers of friendship
Nizhneleninskoye - a small settlement in the Jewish Autonomous Region, located on the bank of the Amur River in 5 kilometers downstream of the Leninsky district center. There are only a few streets and fewer than a hundred houses, but the village has always played a big transit role: in the summer from here you can ferry to the nearby Chinese Tongjiang, in the winter for these same purposes there was a temporary crossing. Two countries decided to "sew" two points on the map with a permanent message after the project of a large iron ore production - the Kimkano-Sutarskiy ore mining and processing enterprise of the Petropavlovsk group - appeared in the EAO. The GOK should supply its products to China, and it is easier and more profitable to do so on the railway bridge.

Strangely enough, Russia and China still do not have large cross-border railway crossings, although in the south of the Far East, in the Russian Primorye, they have a land border, and in the north they are separated only by the Amur. This railway is overcome by the railroad from pre-Soviet times in Khabarovsk, but until recently it could not decide to cross the border. The economies of the two countries are also hampered by different standards of track gauge: in Russia it is 1520 mm, in China - 1435 mm, as in Europe. The construction of roads of a wide Russian standard, once undertaken by the tsarist government to prevent the invasion of enemy forces, now hinders the normal freight turnover. It is planned to combine tracks with China in Primorye on the Zarubino-Hunchun line, but this is a matter of the future. The combined track is at the border crossing in Grodekovo (Primorye), but there the wagons do not go further than the first station. The bridge in the EAO with a two-gauge track should give way to China millions of tons of Russian cargo.

So far, it is true, before the bridge in the Nizhneleninskoye railway is not yet reached: the railway embankment from the Transsib already exists, but the rails and sleepers are just to be laid. On the car you need to drive along the old asphalt road to Leninsky, and then - along the "gravel". Just so you can not get to the construction site - it's already a border zone where you need to book a pass in advance, and the last kilometers the road goes along the "green" - in fact this is the territory of the state border.

The construction contractor, the Russian UIC "Bridge", erected here a whole construction town with its own concrete plant and a helipad for guests. The objectives of the company are formulated very clearly: to make four bridge pillars and three flights in time to mid 2018 year. The bridge will be joined by Chinese partners who have already posted a hieroglyphic poster on their part of the object: “We welcome Russian brothers”. In Russia, a stone was laid in commemoration of the beginning of construction in 2013, but it was only begun in 2016 — there were difficulties with defining a contractor and joining two parts of projects.

The Chinese part of the bridge from 17 supports and 16 spans longer than 1,7 km is ready. Russians left to go 310 meters.

Now one shore support is ready completely, for the second prepared pit and put out spacers - you can fill. Beginning work on the river prevented ice, but with an ice break on the Amur River and this obstacle was eliminated. There is a delay from the schedule, the contractor admits: about 45 days. But he promises to catch up with him. USK "Most" - experienced bridge builders: the company built bridges to the Russian island in Primorye and to the Russian part of the Great Ussuri island near Khabarovsk. She also plans to build a bridge near Blagoveshchensk - the Chinese city of Heihe.

The bridge across the Amur River is a big project: its value exceeds 9 billion rubles. In China, the bridge will enter the operating line of Xiangyuanchuan-Haiyidao, in Russia - the Trans-Siberian Railway. Rubicon, formerly owned by the Petropavlovsk Group, and now controlled by the Russian-Chinese Investment Fund (75%, established by CIC and RFPI) and the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund (the remaining 25%), is the customer of the construction site. The initial cargo flow is expected at the level of 5-8 million tons - it will be coal, iron ore from the Kimkano-Sutarsky GOK, timber and containers for export. After the reconstruction of the section of RZD, the throughput should grow to 20 million tons per year.

“We discussed a number of projects with our Chinese partners, we understand that this will be a mutual benefit for both Russia and China,” says Alexander Galushka, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East. - This is a practical connection between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt, which the leaders of our countries agreed on. And this pairing is made up of such specific construction projects, specific projects, specific cases that are being implemented today within the framework of our cooperation. "

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