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City news, 14.10.2004 13:22

Train Service Berlin-St. Petersburg to Start in '05

berlin_st_petersburg_railway The St Petersburg Times

The Talgo train will come into service along the Berlin-St. Petersburg route in May 2005.

The tourist orientated train service will run a Berlin-Kalinningrad-Vilnus-Riga-Tallinn-St. Petersburg route starting May 26 next year, said the Russian Railroads passenger transit department director Oleg Nikitin on Friday.

The Talgo project was proposed by German railroad professionals during the Fourth International Seminar "Railroads as means to international cultural exchange and tourism," which took place in St. Petersburg last week. Nikitin said the proposal was found to have great potential and a cooperation agreement was signed by the Russian and German railroad representatives to develop the Berlin-St. Petersburg rail route.

Besides the above project, other railroad developments were agreed upon at the seminar, Nikitin said. New border transit points will be opened between Russia and Finland at Svetogorsk-Imatra and Kivijarvi-Vartius, where the existing transit points can not handle current volumes of travelers. The opening of new transit points is especially necessary for the Christmas and New Year periods when the volume of travelers increases, Nikitin said.

Russian Railroads have developed 120,000 kilometers of new tourist rail routes since the beginning of the year. That is 17 percent higher than last year's number, Nikitin said.

The route additions were made along the TransSiberian and the Krugobaikal railroads, Russia's Golden Ring, the Moscow-St. Petersburg route, the steam engine route around Lake Ladozhskoye, and a transit trip through Russia to China along the Silk Route.

"This shows that tourism industry in Russia is growing and it has good potential. We actively work on developing new geographical routes," said Nikitin.

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(c) 2000