International Transport Corridor No. 9
Geographical position of ITC No. 9
Rail route of International Transport Corridor No. 9:
Helsinki – Buslovskaya – St. Petersburg – Moscow – Suzemka – Kiev – Lyubashevka (with a branch line to Odessa) – Chisinau – Bucharest – Sofia – Alexandroupolis (with a branch line to Kiev) – Minsk – Vilnius – Kaliningrad/Vilnius – Klaipeda.
States participating in ITC No. 9: Russia, Finland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.
The main part of the corridor's Russian section stretches for about 1,313 km, is electrified along its entire length and consists of double-track lines (except for the Vyborg – Buslovskaya section).
Pan-European transport corridor No. 9, in conjunction with ITC No. 2, has great potential to provide transport links between Europe and Asia. The northern part of corridor No. 9 Helsinki – St. Petersburg – Moscow and Kaliningrad – Minsk – Kiev – Moscow provides European countries with access to the Far East and the Asia-Pacific region, Central Asia, the Trans-Caucasus, Iran and other littoral countries of the Persian Gulf, as well as to Pakistan and India.
Creation of International Transport Corridor No. 9
Pan-European transport corridor No. 9 was established in accordance with decisions taken at the 2nd Pan-European Transport Conference held in Crete in March 1994. At about 3,000 km, it is the longest such corridor.
The activities and work of the corridor are carried out under the auspices of the European Commission (EC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
A memorandum of understanding was signed on the development of corridor No. 9. in Brussels in 1995.
Development of Transport Corridor No. 9
The countries participating in European transport corridor No. 9 have the task of developing its rail infrastructure and increasing its traffic.
Greece, Romania and Bulgaria made a decision to reconstruct their sections along the corridor in order to increase train speeds to up to 200 kph.
In 2005, Bulgaria completed the reconstruction of the 153-km Plovdiv – Svilengrad stretch. As a result, maximum passenger train speeds increased up to 160 kph and, in the case of trains consisting of tilting wagons, up to 200 kph with the possibility of increasing the speed further to 220 kph.
In Romania, the reconstruction of the Ploiesti – Bucharest section has been completed, enabling the maximum speed of passenger trains to be increased to 140 kph and that of freight trains to 95 kph.
High-speed Sapsan trains travelling at 250 kph are now in service on the Moscow – St. Petersburg route. Plans have been developed to offer high-speed train services between St. Petersburg – Helsinki.
Great importance is also being accorded to developing and consolidating other sections of Corridor No. 9, in particular the Moscow – Bryansk – Suzemka stretch, which provides access to Ukraine's railways. Passenger trains began travelling on the Moscow – Suzemka route at a speed of 140kph in August 2005, thus reducing the journey time to 4 hours. In order to ensure such speeds all along the Moscow – Suzemka – Kiev route, work has been carried out to improve the railway line's infrastructure and to refurbish stations and station buildings.