RZD achieved a net full-year profit of Roubles 8bn ($US 119.3m) in 2015, compared with a loss of Roubles 99bn in 2014.


“Despite the fact that we were not allocated any subsidies for infrastructure maintenance in the current year, we were able to find this money within the company,” Belozerov told Putin. “We cut costs and paid Roubles 134bn into the budget, while at the same time the increase in transport costs was only a little more than 4%.” In addition, labour productivity increased by 5.5% in the first half of 2016.

Passenger traffic increased by almost 2% on suburban trains and by nearly 3% on long-distance trains. Services to the Black Sea coast have been increasingly popular with a 29% increase in traffic compared with the first half of 2015, while the Sapsan high-speed service linking Moscow and St Petersburg carried 2.1 million passengers, an increase of 31%. Due to the decision to provide children aged between 10 and 17 with a 50% discount, ticket sales for train long-distance trains increased by 18% during the first half of 2016. International passenger traffic grew by 3.5% to 284,000 journeys.

First-half freight traffic increased by 1.8% to 600 million tonnes, with the main increase recorded in construction materials, which Belozerov says is evidence that economic activity is increasing.

RZD took delivery of 246 new locomotives worth Roubles 32.5bn during the first half of this year, out of a total of 507 new locomotives on order worth Rouble 69.5bn for the full year.