Russian Railways to pay compensation for high-speed train delays

The size of compensation will depend on the delay. A delay of 30 to 60 minutes (inclusive) will entail a payment of 25 percent of the fare; a delay of 61 to 120 minutes (inclusive) - 50 percent of the fare; and a delay of more than 121 minutes will require a payment of 100 per cent of the fare in compensation.

No compensation will be paid if a delay has been caused by force majeure or repairs aimed at remedying life-threatening malfunctions, which were caused by circumstances beyond the company's control, the Prime-Tass business news agency reports.

Meanwhile, Sapsan, which runs between Moscow and St. Petersburg, has transported the millionth passenger.

The millionth passenger is Yuri Lebedev of Tver who had bought a ticket from Tver to Moscow. A registered certificate was presented to him to confirm his status and a present from Russian Railways Company in mid-August.The high-speed train Sapsan has been travelling between the two cities since December 17, 2009.

Currently, five Sapsan trains run between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Since July 30, 2010, the train has been travelling from St Petersburg to Nizhny Novgorod via Moscow. Every day, six trips are made between St. Petersburg and Moscow and one to Nizhny Novgorod.

The new train is so popular that many passengers refuse to take overnight express trains, which have reported an 18 percent decline in passenger traffic.
Sapsan made its maiden trip from Moscow to St Petersburg on December 17. "Tickets for the first trip were sold out practically right away. Now, too, for the next few days almost no vacant seats are left on the train that runs three times a day," Russian Railways said.

Before the train was launched, the whole railway line between Moscow and St Petersburg had been upgraded and reconstructed. Similar work had been done between Berlin and Hamburg in Germany in 2005 to make trains run at a speed of up to 250 kilometres per hour. Sapsan can travel as fast.

Travelling by Sapsan may become faster by 15 minutes in the future, Oktyabrskaya Railway chief Viktor Stepanov said.

The railway plans to reduce Sapsan travel time from 3 hours 45 minutes now to 3 hours 30 minutes by 2011. The train shuttles between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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