A high-speed railway line will appear between St. Petersburg and Pulkovo

Not only Aeroexpress, but also VTB will compete for the state contract.
From documents on the site torgi.gov.ru it became known that St. Petersburg announced a tender for the construction of a railway branch to the airport "Pulkovo". The city administration has been talking about these intentions for the last six years, now there is a specifics: applicants are invited to build a railway that will connect the Pulkovo airport with the Vitebsk railway station.

Construction in the tender documentation is estimated at a minimum of 25 billion rubles. Of these, the city is ready to give the investor at the construction stage 10 billion - as a capital grant. The investor must invest at least 15 billion rubles in the project. own and borrowed funds. The winner of the contest will be recognized as the applicant, who will cost the least investment of urban money. Recoup investment will allow passengers to pay for their fare.

The problem of transport accessibility of the airport of St. Petersburg is long and acute, notes the partner of the bureau "Kachkin and partners" Denis Kachkin. Pulkovo is the fourth airport in Russia for passenger traffic, but it still has no stable communication with the city, and air passengers are forced to travel by bus, taxi or private car, risking being late for the flight due to traffic jams.

At three major airports of the Moscow air hub, the problem is solved: Aeroexpress connects Sheremetyevo and Belorussky railway station, Domodedovo and Paveletsky railway stations, Vnukovo and Kievsky railway station with electric trains. The interval of train movement to Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo is once every half hour, to Vnukovo - every half hour or an hour. It's strange that there is still no such project in St. Petersburg, the analyst of InfraOne Alexander Galaktionov is surprised. According to her, the discussion of the railway project to the airport began almost 10 years ago, and more or less in detail - since 2012. During this time, the configuration of the project has changed many times: and investments (at first it was 23-25 ​​billion rubles, In the spring of this year - 18.8 billion), and the station (first we talked about the Baltic).

The project was hampered by the problems in the city's economy, then important election campaigns served as a hindrance. Now there are no reasons to postpone the project, says Galaktionova.

In May, the administration of St. Petersburg signed an agreement of intent with Aeroexpress. Aeroexpress then promised to provide a convenient and reliable transfer from the airport to the city center and indicated that the passenger traffic of Pulkovo increased by 21.6% in 2017.

Traffic "Aeroexpress" depends on the demand for air travel, wrote analysts InfraOne. Passengers of the most "Aeroexpress" in 2017 were 11.7 million people. The company's revenue for the year 2017 amounted to 6.1 billion rubles., EBITDA margin - 39% (RAS).

According to the tender documentation, the investor will build a station and a station building at the Pulkovo airport for at least 800 million rubles. The exact length of the railway line will be known after the final approval of the project documentation, a representative of Aeroexpress said.

The investor's money will go not only to the railway tracks in the part of the route where there are no rails, but also, perhaps, to keep the old ones in working condition - which part of the currently operated canvas is certainly suitable for the movement of electric trains to the airport, will again be clear only after approval project documentation. The representative of the Investment Committee of St. Petersburg indicated that the project involves the construction of 8 km of new railways and the use of 16 km of existing ones.

The consortium created for participation in the competition after the victory will have to develop a financial and operational model, determine the budget, select the supplier, the type and number of wagons, the schedule of delivery, the representative of Aeroexpress said. According to the tender documentation, at least 39 pairs of trains per day will be required in the direction of Pulkovo and back.

The concessionaire or service operator will also have to sign an agreement with RZhD on providing services for the use of the railway transport infrastructure - this is a prerequisite.

Aeroexpress for many projects is working with Gazprombank, probably they are here together form a consortium, says the consultant of infrastructure projects. Representatives of Gazprombank and Aeroexpress did not comment on this.

Despite an agreement of intent with the administration of St. Petersburg, Aeroexpress is no more than one of the contenders for the construction of a railway line to the airport. The latest contests for infrastructure construction organized by the St. Petersburg administration were highly competitive. For example, five bids were submitted to the tender for the construction of the tramway line to Petergof at once from companies associated with the structures of VTB Capital, Gazprombank, Lider, the VIS group, and Italian Astaldi and their partners.

Both VTB and VIS group were really interested in the competition for the railway communication with Pulkovo, their representatives told Vedomosti. VIS Group builds a bridge across the river. Ob in Novosibirsk, as well as automobile bypass of Khabarovsk, VTB Bank together with Gazprombank acted as a participant in the company that built the Western High-Speed ​​Diameter highway in St. Petersburg; In addition to this structure, VTB is involved in the construction of the toll motorway M11 Moscow - St. Petersburg. "The project is potentially interesting for us, as we are a shareholder of Pulkovo Airport," the representative of VTB reminded, and noted that it is premature to speak about the parameters of participation in the contest before studying the tender documents. In the Cyprus company, which owns the Pulkovo concessionaire 100%, VTB Capital owns the largest share (25.01%), the remaining owners are German Fraport, RFPI with partner funds, Qatar sovereign fund Qatar. The representative of the MC "Leader" could not be contacted, the representative of Gazprombank confirmed interest in this project.

Whoever builds the road, he will not have difficulties with the future passenger traffic - provided a reasonable tariff, says Kachkin: any major airport today has a permanent rail connection with the metropolis, and its absence is perceived as an anachronism. The passenger is used to this level of comfort and is ready to incur costs, he notes. The cost of the standard ticket of the Moscow Aeroexpress is 500 rubles, if you buy online in advance - 420 rubles. The business class costs 1000 rubles. The only alternative in the conditions of Petersburg is the extension of the city's metro to Pulkovo, says Kachkin, but it would be unlikely to attract private investors to such a project.