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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Train Plan Shunted into a Siding

The Cabinet on Thursday delayed until November the approval of a plan to invest $506 billion into upgrading the nation's railways by 2030.

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said Russian Railways must improve its strategy with proposals such as charging less for train tickets to regions with booming resource extraction industries, Interfax reported.

Cheaper tickets would attract manpower to these areas, he said.

More improved railroads will lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth and provide access to new fields of natural resources, such as coal, Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin told the meeting.

High-speed trains would deliver passengers from Moscow to St. Petersburg in just 2 1/2 hours, he said.

Under the plan, more than 20,000 kilometers of new roads will be built by 2030, Yakunin said.

"For comparison's sake, in the Soviet period, which lasted more than 70 years, about 30,000 new railroads were built in Russia," he said.