The Russian government is eyeing a plan for a RUB1.4 trillion (€15.2 billion) rail project in the south of the country, according to the Russian media.
Kommersant said the scope of the project, known as the Southern Cluster, includes moving the railway system around the southern city of Sochi away from the coast and constructing a new branch of the network between Sochi and Krivenkovskaya, some 135km to the west, on the Black Sea coast. This part of the project is reportedly set to cost around RUB935 million (€10.35 billion).
Other major aspects of the plan are said to include the reconstruction of infrastructure across this and other nearby lines, and the construction of a relief road for the Dzhubga-Sochi highway, the largest road in southern Russia.
Should the project receive full approval, the passenger rail journey time between Moscow and the coastal town of Adler, more than 1,600km to the south, will be cut from 32 to 16 hours.
Russian Railways, who would develop the project if it were to proceed, declined to comment when contacted by Kommersant, but a Finance Ministry representative said a financial model for the project was currently being reviewed.