According to the calculations of the Infrastructure Economics Centre (IEC), the speed trains might become not only the fastest but also the cheapest means of transport for the distances up to 1000 kilometers. They IEC made their estimations based on the route from Moscow to Kazan.
To travel with the railway will be faster and more cost-effective compared to traveling by plane, with one condition: if you travel with the speed 360 kilometers per hour, meaning that you travel along the high-speed network (HSN). The final decision on construction of the first high-speed network in Russia, which supposed to connect Moscow and Kazan, is not made yet, but according to the prices of 2018, the cost of the ticket on such train would be approximately 30 USD, while the duration of the trip would be 1,9 hours.
Just compare it to the car ride or a flight. The car ride from Moscow to Kazan with the speed road (which is planned within the framework of the long-distance infrastructure development 2024) would require almost 40 USD expenses and would take almost 5 hours driving. The trip with a plane in an economy class would take 3.8 hours, including the time to reach the airport, and would cost 60 USD. The railway solution would not only be more cost efficient but also more ecologically sustainable. The technical design specification for the project of the HSN from Moscow to Kazan is planned to be prepared in 2019.
The implementation of the technical solutions for current trains is also expected. In this regard, it is planned to increase the speed of the railway connection on the route from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Russian Railways also plan to increase the speed of the passenger trains by 3-5 percent, which will allow decreasing the travel time on certain routes for up to 3 hours. It is also planned to increase the level of passenger comfort. In particular, the trains will significantly expand the Wi-Fi network and improve the quality of service and food.