Specifically the consortium will carry out engineering surveys, project development planning, surveying and the development of design documentation for the project. The contract is worth Roubles 20bn ($US 389m) plus VAT and the work is expected to be carried out in 2015-2016.

Mosgiprotrans is a major Russian design institute that has been involved in several large Russian infrastructure projects including the Baikal - Amur main line and the Amur - Yakutsk main line. In China CREEC has designed more than 4700km of lines with speeds of up to 200km/h, 2500km of lines with speeds up to 250km/h, and 1000km of lines with a maximum speed of 350km/h. Nizhegorodmetroproekt participated in drafting plans for metro projects in Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Kazan, and has experience of developing main line infrastructure including bridges.

The 770km Moscow - Kazan high-speed line will cross seven Russian territories and will have 15 stations including in Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, and Cheboksary. The journey from Mosow to Kazan will take 3.5 hours and the line is expected to transport 10.5 million passengers in its first year of operations.

According to RZD the new line will be Russia's largest public-private partnership project.

Last year the Russian and Chinese governments signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a strategic partnership and cooperation for design, construction, maintenance, supply of equipment, investment and project financing.