20-5-2010: 10 juni – Excursie Terberg
18-4-2010: 12 mei – Transportkundeborrel en study trip info
16-3-2010: Inschrijfformulier studiereis 2010 – Rusland
9-3-2010: Study Tour update
19-2-2010: Studiereis 2009/2010 bekend!

Dispuut Transportkunde, the study association for the specialisation Transport & Logistics of Mechanical Engineering at the TU Delft, organizes this year’s study tour to Russia.

The tour takes place in September 2010 and will consist of 10 days intensive visits with Russian businesses in the field of transportation engineering and logistics. The aim is to broaden our perspective on different approaches to technical or system problems by looking at a country that has been self-sufficient and self-employed for decades. A group of approximately 25 students accompanied by the faculty’s professors will become acquainted with the Russian company culture and impelling Russian’s cultural heritage.

Transportation in Russia

Railway transport in Russia is mostly under the control of the state-run Russian Railways monopoly. The company accounts for over 3.6% of Russia’s GDP and handles 39% of the total of Russia’s freight traffic (including pipelines) and more than 42% of passenger traffic. The total length of common-used railway tracks exceeds 85,500 km, second only to the United States. Over 44,000 km of tracks are electrified, which is the largest number in the world, and additionally there are more than 30,000 km of industrial non-common carrier lines. The most renown railroad in Russia is Trans-Siberian Railway, spanning a record 7 time zones and serving the longest single continuous services in the world, Moscow-Vladivostok (9,259 km), Moscow–Pyongyang (10,267 km) and Kiev–Vladivostok (11,085 km).

As of 2006 Russia had 933,000 km of roads, of which 755,000 were paved. Some of these make up the Russian federal motorway system. With a large land area the road density is the lowest of all the G8 and BRIC countries. A Russian saying states that There are two main problems in Russia: fools and roads, however this very lack of roads was of much help to Russians in the times of Napoleon’s and Hitler’s invasions.

102,000 km of inland waterways in Russia mostly go by natural rivers or lakes. In the European part of the country the network of channels connects the basins of major rivers. Russia’s capital, Moscow, is sometimes called “the port of the five seas”, due to its waterway connections to the Baltic, White, Caspian, Azov and Black seas.

Major sea ports of Russia include Rostov-on-Don on the Azov Sea, Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, Astrakhan and Makhachkala on the Caspian Sea, Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, Arkhangelsk on the White Sea, Murmansk on the Barents Sea, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean.

In 2008 Russia owned 1448 merchant marine ships. Russia is the only country to have nuclear icebreaker fleet, which is a great advantage in the economic exploitation of Arctic continental shelf of Russia and the development of sea trade through the Northern Sea Route between Europe and East Asia.

There are 74,285 km of oil pipelines in Russia, 13,658 km of pipelines for refined products, 158,767 km of natural gas pipelines. By total length of pipelines Russia is second only to the United States. Currently, many new pipeline projects are being realized, including North and South Stream natural gas pipelines to Europe, and ESPO oil pipeline to Russian Far East and China.

Russia has 1216 airports, the busiest being Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo in Moscow and Pulkovo in Saint Petersburg. The total length of airlines in Russia exceeds 600,000 km. In the remote regions of the Russian North and Siberia the transportation by air (usually by helicopters) is vital, and in some months of the year it is the only transport link to the rest of the country.

Typically, major Russian cities have well-developed and diverse systems of public transport, with the most common varieties of exploited vehicles being bus, trolleybus and tram. Seven Russian cities, namely Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, Yekaterinburg and Kazan, have underground metros, while Volgograd features a metrotram. Total length of metros in Russia is 465.4 km. Moscow Metro and Saint Petersburg Metro are the oldest in Russia, opened in 1935 and 1955 respectively. These two are among the fastest and busiest metro systems in the world, and are famous for rich decorations and unique designs of their stations, which is a common tradition for Russian metros and railways.