Russian Rail Passenger Traffic at Three-Year High

MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Railways (RZD) has transported its billionth passenger since the start of this year, the highest level since 2008, RZD’s West-Siberian branch reported on Wednesday in a sign the rail monopoly’s business has recovered from the 2008-2009 crisis.

Rail passenger traffic totaled 993.1 million journeys last year, up from 946.5 million passengers in 2010, about 1 billion in 2009 and 1.3 billion in 2008.

The Express-Suburb company, operating passenger services in the Novosibirsk Region, presented the lucky billionth passenger, a nurse, with flowers and a ticket for two for the Winter Fairytale special weekend train running between Novosibirsk and the Kuzbass ski resort.

Russia was severely affected by the 2008 global financial and economic crisis, causing the government to pump billions of rubles into the national economy to keep enterprises afloat, save the banking system and prevent a sharp drop in living standards.


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