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Maksim Sukharev: ‘Designing the Moscow-Kazan HSR is like a marathon race at the speed of a sprinter!’.
                                                     Максим Сухарев: «Проектирование ВСМ Москва-Казань - как марафон со скоростью спринтера»

The First Deputy General Director Maksim Sukharev told Gudok about peculiarities of working on the HSR project, unique competencies gained during this work and the competition with Hyperloop.

JSC RZD was planning to present the calculations on the sections from Moscow to Vladimir and from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail line by February 26, the First Deputy General Director of the company Alexander Misharin said at the Russian Investment Forum. The design of all HSR sections was completed in 2017. The consortium of the HSR designers was headed by the institute “Mosgiprotrans”.

- What could you compare the work on the Moscow-Kazan HSR to?
- To a journey to the future with a team of real professionals! It's not a secret that the Moscow-Kazan HSR is an innovative project both from functional and technical perspectives. This work can also be compared to a marathon race at the speed of a sprinter.

- The HSR project has no analogues in Russia. Could you please tell us about the experience gained by Mosgiprotrans specialists in designing the railway?
- First of all, this is an experience of international cooperation of railway organizations, an experience of technology integration and participation in foreign projects. The work on the Moscow-Kazan HSR involves Russian experts as wells as Chinese International Consortium consisting of JSC "Mosgiprotrans", JSC "Nizhegorodmetroproject" and China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd. New technological solutions are reflected in almost all types of construction works. We have begun to apply advanced technologies of information modeling of infrastructure facilities. BIM forms the basis for all solutions throughout the whole life cycle of a facility: from planning to designing, developing the engineering documentation, construction, operation and demolition. In order to ensure constructive uniformity, technical solutions for unified artificial structures have been developed. These innovative solutions include designs for the HSR section with speeds ranging from 200 km/h up to 400 km/h. The contact system KS-400 is developed on the basis of mathematical modeling of dynamic interaction with current collectors of electric rolling stock. The designed innovative railway stations with unique architecture will create images of modern multifunctional centers which are parts of transport hubs and form a safe environment that provides a comfortable, fast and efficient movement of passenger flows between different types of transport.

- HSR was designed using innovative solutions for track structures. So, when they outlive their usefulness?
- Today, we cannot unambiguously answer this question. We live in the age of innovation and new breakthrough technologies. One thing I can say for sure is that the HSR project provides for a qualitative transition from the classical technology for railway bed which includes rubble and sleepers to a monolithic concrete structure. This is an intelligent way to track the state of the structure throughout its lifetime.

- Were all sections of the Moscow-Kazan HSR designed using BIM technologies?
- We have started to use these advanced technologies not long ago and we are trying to apply them to the whole line.

- In designing the rail line, did you determine by yourself necessary measures aimed at compensating interference in the natural environment during construction works?
- We have prepared a full range of environmental protection measures based on the requirements of the law and considering the interests of different groups of the population. As for especially protected natural territories, there HSR will be installed on trestles perfectly blending into the architectural-natural landscape. We worked with each individual region and municipal unit. Field studies and information gathering were conducted on all possible environmental constraints.

- Why do you think the line does not provide for 1435 track gauge instead of 1520 one in case it will become a part of "Eurasia" transport corridor?
- Technical solutions include a special rolling stock with variable gauge. This can be done and has already been applied on the European high-speed rail lines, for example, in France and Spain.

- At the end of last year, the feasibility study of the project of "Eurasia" High-Speed Rail Corridor was presented. Have you seen this document? How do you assess its feasibility?
- Yes, I read this document. Despite a number of comments from the expert community, these works can be called a realistic geopolitical project. You see, we can't stop technological progress! Russia cannot be left out of the transport corridor.

- Like the Moscow-Kazan railway, the Ekaterinburg-Chelyabinsk line will be one of the sections of Eurasia. Are you involved in designing this section? If not, do you intend to participate or share your experience with the companies that will design the section?  
- I hope that the gathered unique experience and knowledge of our Institute will allow us to take an active part in designing this section. Our highly qualified specialists are always ready to exchange information within the professional community.

- Do you participate in designing transport interchange hubs for the Moscow-Kazan HSR?
- We are designing railroad complexes and stations of the Moscow-Kazan HSR. As far as I know, an international consulting company Cushman & Wakefield has won the tender for designing a strategy for development of territories adjacent to transport interchange hubs (TPU) of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway (HSR). Our Institute is actively cooperating in the part of information sharing.

- The Head of Hyperloop One Rob Lloyd said that Hyperloop will displace the HSR construction project from China to Europe in 10 years. Can you comment on that? Would your company be ready to design the Hyperloop part?
- Hyperloop One is a quite interesting and ambitious project! However, the technologies involved in this project are still far from our reality, but still the construction of Hyperloop lines in Russia is quite seriously discussed at the governmental and expert levels.

Yes, Sherwin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop One, has already called this project a new "Silk Road". It would be profitable for all of us to deliver cargoes from China through Russia to Europe in a day. But there are a few questions. Is there any serious documentation on this project available? Are its exact route, cost and other important nuances already known? Hyperloop is expected to be a cost-effective project. As far as I know, apart from theoretical grounds, there is no evidence yet. To implement such plans it is necessary to create new legislation, organize economically viable projects.

At the same time, Russia with its large territory and population is ideal for building a network of supersonic trains. We, the company that stands at the forefront of progress, are interested in this project of course!

Author: Sergeeva Kseniya

19 февраля 2018
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