Improvement of the route network

Securing Government Orders for Loss-Making Routes

The following steps were taken in 2015 to improve the route network:

  • FPC developed and approved the route network and train schedule optimisation methodology;
  • The Company developed a software to support decision-making on route network optimisation;
  • FPC drafted a list of adjustments to the 2015 train schedule and a list of passenger train scheduling initiatives for 2015/2016.

As part of the efforts to optimise the route network, 68 passenger train pairs were removed from the 2015/2016 train schedule.

The route network improvement drive enabled a more efficient use of the Company’s railcar fleet. Its productivity performance in 2015 was 0.721 million passenger-kilometres per carriage, up 3.4% year-on-year.

As part of its network optimisation programme, FPC has to cancel trains that are loss-making despite subsidies provided at the moment, since the subsidies are allocated to no specific route. As a result, the Company’s route network shrinks stepwise, although many of such routes are socially significant and in demand by local people.

A reasonable solution would be to split the responsibility for socially significant passenger services between the public authorities and the carrier by placing government orders for long-distance services on each of such routes.

Faster Services and Improved Long-Distance Train Schedule

In 2015, the average net speed was 57.04 km/h for FPC’s express trains (57.2 km/h in 2014) and 46.65 km/h for passenger trains (46.35 km/h in 2014).

The journey time of 68 trains has reduced by at least 30 minutes, totalling 137 hours. For 404 trains, time in transit was decreased by up to 30 minutes, totalling 233 hours.

High-speed trains on the Moscow — Nizhny Novgorod route travel at 114.72 km/h (111.43 km/h in 2014). The average net speed on the route from Moscow to Orel and Kursk (Lastochka train) is 92.31 km/h (92.31 km/h in 2014) and reaches 100.56 km/h (Lastochka train) on the route from Moscow to Smolensk (92.43 km/h in 2014).

An important step towards faster railway network is a public discussion initiated in 2015 to reduce infrastructure tariffs for high-speed trains. Specifically, it implies, among other things, raising a speed limit from 91 to 140 km/h (travelling at speeds above the limit increases high-speed train tariffs).

If tariffs are reduced, the number of trains which are profit-making and in demand among passengers will grow manifold.

Annual average speed by train category, km/h

Annual average speed by train category

Train acceleration in 2015/2016 schedule by key route

Train acceleration in 2015/2016 schedule by key route

Multimodal Transport Scheme Development and Implementation

In the reporting year, the Company continued to develop multimodal transport services, including rail and bus services.

As at 31 December 2015, the Company introduced eight multimodal routes combining train and bus services to increase passenger traffic and improve passenger experience:

  • Togliatti — Syzran;
  • Kolchanovo — Pikalyovo;
  • Kostroma — Yaroslavl;
  • Velikie Luki — Sebezh;
  • Boksity — Serov;
  • Rossosh — Belgorod;
  • Stary Oskol — Valuyki;
  • Kotlas — Veliky Ustyug.

Since the project launch (in December 2014), multimodal transport services have been provided to over 51,000 passengers.

Multimodal transport services are planned to be introduced on the following routes:

  • Veliky Ustyug — Kotlas — Moscow, with buses used on the Veliky Ustyug — Kotlas link and interchange to the Vorkuta — Moscow train in Kotlas, starting from 14 January 2016;
  • Existing Kostroma — Yaroslavl — Saint Petersburg multimodal route to be extended to Volgorechensk, with buses used on the Volgorechensk — Kostroma — Yaroslavl link and interchange to the Ivanovo — Saint Petersburg train in Yaroslavl, starting from 1 March 2016;
  • Vologda — Yaroslavl — Moscow multimodal route, with buses used on the Kostroma — Yaroslavl link and interchange to the Moscow — Yaroslavl express train in Yaroslavl, starting from 1 March 2016;
  • Kostroma — Yaroslavl — Moscow multimodal route, with buses used on the Kostroma — Yaroslavl link and interchange to the Moscow — Yaroslavl express train in Yaroslavl, starting from 1 April 2016.

Introduction of multimodal services is based on the following criteria:

  • Competitive advantages over air/motor transport (travel time and price);
  • Passenger capacity of the route, i.e. if there is a stable passenger traffic between the locations to be linked to a long-distance train service via other modes of transport;
  • Alignment of long-distance train and other transport schedules so that passengers can get to the train stations by other means of transport;
  • Less than a 150 km distance to an interchange station where passengers can board a long-distance train;
  • Single travel tickets for various transport modes in same ticket offices;
  • Bus stations located in proximity to railway stations so as to make the interchange convenient for passengers.