Rusland - Trainpaparazzo

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Rusland - VKM : 20 RUS-(VKM)

Российские железные дороги (РЖД), Rossiyskie zheleznye dorogi (RZhD)

The Russian Railways (RZhD) (Russian: Российские железные дороги (РЖД), Rossiyskie zheleznye dorogi (RZhD)) is the government owned national rail carrier of the Russian Federation, headquartered in Moscow. The Russian Railways operate over 86,000 km (53,000 mi) of common carrier routes as well as a few hundred kilometers of industrial routes, making it the second largest network in the world exceeded only by the United States. The Railways also are one of the largest companies in the world employing 950,000 people and is also a monopoly within Russia. The Russian Railways were created in 1992, to take over existing lines within Russia from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Railways ended operations in December 1991, due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. On January 20, 1992, the Ministry of Russian Railways was founded, to operate railways within the Russian Federation. However the Russian Railways were declining rapidly, mainly due to loss of direct government support. Investments were cut and funds were dropped. The railways declined greatly because there weren't enough funds to repair rolling stock, stations and maintain rapidly aging track. In 1992, freight traffic within Russia fell by 60%. Passenger travel also declined greatly. Many trains were taken out of service and the passenger sector was heavily subsidized to the freight industry. The decline greatly affected Russia's economy, since railways were the only reliable transportation system within the country. Since the railways were a vital social importance to Russia, due to low usage of automobiles, heavy usage by low income citizens, lack of roads, great distances and connections to remote parts of Russia, the railways needed to rebuild and modernize the system to meet the demands of the country. In 1996, the Ministry of Railways developed a program to greatly restructure Russia's railways. The ministry looked into programs used in the Soviet Union and Russian Empire as well as other countries in Europe, Asia and North America. The program was set into motion May 18, 2001, when it was approved by the government. The general plan was to modernize and expand the industry to meet the demands of the economy by 2010. Many tracks were rebuilt with cement ties and expanded to two tracks or more. On September 18, 2003, a decree was passed to separate the railways from the ministry of transport, thus the Russian Railways was created as a public company, owning all track, stock and equipment. These new reforms proved successful as passenger traffic increased by 30% and freight traffic doubled by 2005. Rail transport in Russia has been called an economic wonder of the 19th, 20th, and 21st century. In length of track Russian railroads are second globally to the railways of the United States. In volume of freight hauled, they are third behind the United States and China, using the standard measure of ton-kilometers. In overall density of operations (here the standard measure is (freight ton-kilometers + passenger-kilometers)/length of track) Russia is second only to China. Russia is a much larger country than either the United States or China, so its rail density (rail track/country area) is lower than that of these other two – much lower in the case of the United States. Since Russia's population density is also much lower than that of these other two (excluding Alaska from the U.S. measure in this case), the Russian railways carry their freight and passengers over very long distances, often through vast, nearly empty spaces; their average length of haul is second in the world, behind only the United States and essentially tied with Canada. Coal and coke make up almost one-third of the freight traffic and have average hauls of around 1500 kilometers, while ferrous metals make up another 10 percent of freight traffic and travel an average of over 1900 kilometers. Many remote shippers and customers have access either to only very poor alternative shipping options by road or water, and/or access to those alternative options for less than the entire year. Though like most railways RZhD carries both freight and passengers, it is one of the most freight-dominant railways in the world, behind only Canada, the United States, and Estonia in the ratio of freight ton-kilometers to passenger-kilometers. Measured by the share of freight carried, RZhD is second to none among the world's largest railways in its importance to its country's economy.

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