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Reconfigure Transsib

Chapter "Samarga-holding" about the future of roads in the Far East

Samarga-holding general director Andrei Kryazhev, specifically for EastRussia, explains why the multibillion-dollar project of building Khabarovsk’s message with Samarga port (Primorye Territory) instead of Vladivostok port is a good future, and the introduction of a regular ferry service between all ports of the east is the only alternative to expensive car railways.

Reconfigure Transsib
Photo: "Samarga-holding"
Straightening moment

2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the completion of the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Over the century, the region has undergone radical changes. China, Korea and Japan have transformed from underdeveloped countries into the world's leading economies. A large share of Russian exports to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region are energy carriers, whose production centers are located several thousand kilometers from the ports of the Far East. And it is obvious that the historically established topology of the Transsib is far from optimal.

If on the predominant part of the highway its main task is to ensure transport accessibility of resources and industrial centers, then from Khabarovsk it is the shortest access to the seaports. But when you need the shortest access to the coast - why go along this coast for more than 500 km (for information, the average distance of rail transportation in Germany is about 300 km)? The expediency of changing the configuration of the Transsib transport corridor and creating an alternative to the 900-km route from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok and Nakhodka in the form of a shorter (about 400 km) outlet to the Pacific Ocean should be one of the priorities of the national transport policy.

It should be noted that one of the main strategic planning documents for the development of the transport complex - the Strategy for the Development of Railway Transport until 2030, approved by the order of the Government of the Russian Federation of June 17, 2008, provided for, inter alia, the construction of the Sukpai-Samarga railway, using to the Transsib of the infrastructure of the Oborskaya railway Kruglikovo-Sukpai with an abutment to the Transsib at st. Kruglikovo. However, in the updated version of the Strategy from 2012, the Sukpai-Samarga branch is no longer there - in contrast, for example, to the dubious appointment of the Selikhin-Sergeevka backup.

The comprehensive development of the transport and logistics infrastructure should include the Khabarovsk-Samarga railway, the Samarga universal seaport and a logistics center. It is fundamentally important that in this case we are not talking about the creation of a new transport corridor or a branch of the Transsib. The project should be considered in the context of the overdue reconfiguration of the Trans-Siberian Railway - changing the topology of the transport corridor from Khabarovsk to the Pacific coast, reconstruction of one of the strategically important elements of the national transport system, as a result of which the distance of land transportation for shippers will be reduced by about 560 km, which will reduce transport costs an average of 360 rubles / t. and reduce the delivery time of goods by 1,5 days

In turn, the deviation of the Transsib cargo traffic and, accordingly, the unloading of the main run on the Khabarovsk — Ussuriysk – Vladivostok / Nakhodka section, as well as the capacity of the cargo sea area, makes it possible to realize the transit potential of the MTC Primorye - 1 with minimal costs, and also creates favorable conditions for the organization strategically important for the region high-speed passenger rail service on the route Vladivostok-Khabarovsk.

The universal seaport (UMP) Samarga, in addition to passenger, container and other cargo terminals, may include a ferry terminal. The economic logic of the rail-ferry technology is based on the fact that the cargo is transported without terminal processing in ports, which gives significant savings in time and financial costs. Calculations show the economic efficiency of rail-ferry technology when transporting goods over a distance of up to 1000 - 1200 km.

Ferry as Exit

Ferry technologies are not a novelty for the region - the Vanino-Kholmsk railway-ferry crossing has been operating for more than 40 years, carrying on ships of the Sakhalin project with a deadweight of no more than 3 thousand tons and a capacity of no more than 28 wagons up to 5,8 million tons of cargo per year (1988 maximum). The ferry line from Samarga can be served by a railway freight-passenger ferry with a capacity of 112 wagons, 120 auto trailers, about 100 cars and buses, up to 400 passengers. Taking into account the tightness of the conditions in the operating seaports, a ferry layout should be adopted in which only one deck is allocated for the railway rolling stock. In this case, the minimum linear parameters of the terminal track development zone are provided.

The specificity of the technological scheme of transportation on the route consists in the return loading of empty (after unloading coal, timber) gondola cars with 40- and 45-foot containers and their transportation by route dispatches to transshipment terminals in the TLCs of Krasnoyarsk, Kemerovo and other centers of energy production. It is important to take into account that rail-ferry transportation, in addition to solving environmental problems associated with transshipment and storage of coal at port terminals, which is especially important for Nakhodka, Vanino, Posyet, also means essentially lengthening the operational length of railways, and, if implemented by the Russian fleet, is factor of import substitution and development of export of transport services.

It should be recognized that in the medium term, the achievement of regulatory parameters of the state of the road network in the majority of the region’s territory, as well as the level of development of rail and air traffic required to ensure regular and inexpensive delivery of goods and passengers. But it seems expedient to organize in the waters of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Sea of ​​Japan regular passenger-and-freight ferry service, which, to a certain extent, will ensure the replenishment of the underdevelopment of the road network by maritime communications.

It is obvious that in the first time such transport activity without subsidizing will not be able to have a positive financial result, and in this regard the example of Norway is the most indicative, which has a long coastline with a large number of fjords, islands and straits and where the ferry service is implemented in similar geographical, climate and demographic conditions, plays an important economic and social role and is recognized as part of the national road network. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for compensating the ferry operators in Norway, and the respective municipalities in the districts. The amount of subsidies is set annually in the expenditure part of the national budget. The funds are then distributed as grants between municipalities for the procurement of ferry operator services.

The old will not pass

For Far Eastern conditions, taking into account the need to transport a significant number of passengers, it is necessary to create a new class of ships (conditionally - Con-Ro-Pax). The primary task is to determine the optimal deadweight, passenger capacity / gross and general cargo / container capacity, ice reinforcement class, the type of power plant (taking into account the possibility of using LNG as a motor fuel), etc. Construction of ships of this class is quite possible for domestic shipbuilding, and Operation - such companies as the FESCO transport group, Sakhalin Shipping Company (SASCO) and others. 

It should be noted that the implementation of modern ferry technologies is able to ensure the reliability and availability of transport links from about. Sakhalin and through its territory from about. Hokkaido (Japan), while eliminating the need for gigantic budgetary expenditures for the construction of a bridge or tunnel (with approaches) across the Tatar Strait.

However, projects for the development of transport and logistics infrastructure of this level are characterized by a large investment capacity, complexity and laboriousness of the coordination and approval processes, and a long payback period. At the same time, it is important that the initiator of the project is not the main beneficiary: in this case, the main beneficiaries are cargo owners, who have the opportunity to reduce logistics costs, and the state. This implies the principles of public-private partnership, where the obligations of the public partner consist in the timely allocation of the necessary land resources, provision of “non-discriminatory” conditions for joining engineering networks and adjoining public transport infrastructure, forming border, customs and social infrastructure, including regional and municipal road network.
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