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State-owned Russian Railways plans to attract about $9 billion in investment next year
State-owned Russian Railways plans to attract about $9 billion in investment next year, 20% more than in 2006, the company's president said Monday. This year's investment in the rail network is expected to total $6.65 billion, of which $6.60 billion will be Russian Railways' own funds, the company said earlier. "Next year, according to macroeconomic forecasts, we will have to increase cargo traffic by 3.5% and passenger traffic by 2.7%; this will be achieved primarily by efficient use of trains and capital investment," Vladimir Yakunin told an end-of-year meeting of the company's management. Yakunin said that in 2007 the company would launch a two-year investment program, which had been approved by the government. Russian Railways will also start a series of projects, including the reconstruction of a northwestern railroad and of rail approaches to ports in the southern part of the Gulf of Finland, which will altogether provide a shorter and cheaper rail link for exports from major cargo hubs. "In 2007, the company will substantially expand acquisition of rolling stock, in particular freight carriages," Yakunin said. The Russian Railways president said the company's investment program for 2006 had attained the declared objectives of increasing traffic, cutting maintenance costs, developing an IT-based logistics system, and introducing resource-saving technologies.
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