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Sapsan Route From Petersburg to Nizhny Canceled

Russian Railways will cancel the St. Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod high-speed Sapsan route in November primarily due to weak passenger demand, Kommersant reported, citing sources within the company.

Only 8 percent of passengers arriving in Moscow from St. Petersburg continued to Nizhny Novgorod. “In practice, the entire train emptied in Moscow,” an anonymous source said, Kommersant reported.

High passenger turnover also meant that crews had to clean nearly the entire train in 15 minutes. Furthermore, Russian Railways would have had to build an additional platform and disrupt dozens of other trains to inspect passengers arriving simultaneously from opposite directions. The company has promised to launch more trips between Moscow and each city.

Russian Railways may also receive some 7.5 billion rubles ($238.6 million) to complete a rail link to the oil terminal at the port of Primorsk in the Leningrad region.

The money would come from some 29 billion rubles of federal budget money earmarked for the development of rail infrastructure in 2012, Kommersant reported. The new rail line, which port shareholders Transneft and Summa have been lobbying for some years, should carry up to 20 million tons of oil products a year.

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