The 800km line will run via Vladimir, Nizhniy Novgorod and Cheboksary serving a corridor with a population of 30 million. RZD hopes to open the line by 2018, and wants to eventually extend it south to Samara, and east to Ufa, Perm, and Ekaterinburg.

The second priority is to construct a high-speed line from Moscow north to St Petersburg followed by a line from Moscow south to Rostov and the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

RZD would also like to build high-speed lines between the neighbouring cities such as Vladivostok and Khabarovsk in the Far East. As far as international links are concerned, RZD's two priorities are to build lines from Moscow to Kiev, Ukraine, and Minsk, Belarus.

Yakunin also made it clear that RZD is keen to obtain high-speed rail technology and know-how from abroad with a view to producing such equipment in Russia.