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Russian trains switch to alternative route bypassing Ukraine

The Russian Railways company has switched all trains travelling southwards to the new Zhuravka-Millerovo railway line to circumvent Ukraine.

According to Russian Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov, the issue at hand is 62 pairs of passenger trains and 30 pairs of freight trains. Before that, all Russian trains heading for the country's southern regions had to run through Ukraine's Lugansk region and cross the state border twice.

On September 20, Russian Railways reported the launch of regular freight train traffic as part of a test operation on the Zhuravka-Millerovo line in the Voronezh and Rostov Regions bypassing Ukraine, while passenger trains were launched in November.

The new 137-km railroad line passing through the Voronezh and Rostov Regions is part of a railway line that links central Russia to the Black Sea coast. The projected maximum speed of the passenger rail line is 140 km/h and may be increased to 160 km/h, and for freight trains, it will go up to 90 km/h.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 11Dec17]

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