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City news, 18.12.2003 15:28

Yakovlev outlines big plans for Northwest transport infrastructure

Vladimir Yakovlev Express rail service between Finland's capital, Helsinki, and Saint Petersburg 'is most likely to be operating by 2008. This was announced by the vice prime minister Vladimir Yakovlev at a press conference. Russia and Finland have agreed to build such a line, he said, and Finland 'is now actively laying the necessary track on its side of the border.'

As to extension of the express track from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, the vice prime minister said he could not give an exact date but noted that 'some sections of express track, which allow speeds of up to 200 kilometers an hour, already exist.' However, 'creating express service between the two capitals will need a great deal more time than for Petersburg and Helsinki,' Yakovlev said.

The deputy chairman of the government also brought up the matter of a high-speed automobile highway between Helsinki and Petersburg. He noted that Finland is currently 'busily expanding its road network.' However, Russian priorities call for the opening in 2005 of the eastern section of the Saint Petersburg's ring road and, in 2008 of the western section, if current plans hold. 'In addition to these elements of our transportation infrastructure, we expect completion of the flood-control structures in the Gulf of Finland by 2008,' Yakovlev said.

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