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11 February 2010

Belarusian Railways to launch new service between Gomel and Murmansk

MINSK, 11 February (BelTA) – The Belarusian Railways is planning to launch a new service between Gomel and Murmansk, BelTA learnt from Andrei Kashko, chief of the railway passenger service department of the Belarusian Railways. The launch of the new service connecting Gomel, Mogilev, Vitebsk and Murmansk is scheduled for summer this year. This service will be available all-the-year-round. It will be running twice a week, Andrei Kashko said. The Belarusian Railways is also examining the launch of new services to connect the biggest cities of Belarus and further on with the capital city. “The new timetable which we are currently considering will include, for example, an evening service between Mogilev and Brest via Minsk. The service connecting Baranovichi, Luninets and Brest is also under scrutiny,” he said. An additional service between Mogilev, Baranovichi and Brest ran on the New Year’s days. “It was quite popular, therefore we are considering making it regular,” Andrei Kashko said. According to the expert, the Belarusian Railways plans to start selling tickets online this year. “We hope the project will be implemented in 2010. A part of the equipment necessary for the implementation of the project is currently tested,” he stressed. Online ticket booking will remain in place too. “It will be possible to book a ticket via the booking office, by the phone or via the Internet,” Andrei Kashko added. At estimated 29,300 tickets were booked online last year. The Belarusian Railways accounts for nearly 80% of the freight and almost 40% of the passenger hauls. The total length of the Belarusian Railways exceeds 7,000 kilometers.