RZD Will Invest $63Bln in Far East

Russian Railways, the monopoly that operates the world's longest rail network, said Tuesday that it would invest about 1.6 trillion rubles ($63 billion) to improve service in the country's Far East federal district.

The state-owned company will upgrade its existing network and build new track by 2030, it said in an e-mailed statement.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who toured the Far East last week, said poor transportation is holding back the economy of the area.

New lines will help Russia exploit vast reserves of natural resources, including Elga, the country's largest untapped coking-coal field in the Sakha republic.

Russian Railways gave no details of how it will finance the upgrade. Chief executive Vladimir Yakunin said last week that the company plans to raise "a few billion dollars" this year.