Climate change risks

The Company pays special attention to climate change risks, analysing the climate change impact and taking it into account when planning its activities. The key potential threat to the Company’s business is damage to infrastructure in permafrost areas, growing number of meteorological hazards that jeopardise railway operations, including heavy rains and snowfalls, very low and high temperatures, extreme temperature swings, glaze, rime and greater impact of dangerous hydrological phenomena, such as spring floods and freshets, etc.

The main external risks of anthropogenic origin or naturally occurring which Russian Railways is exposed to include:

  • damage and accidents at sites supporting the Company’s operations;
  • industrial accidents involving associated transport modes (primarily in sea port water areas and at highways);
  • fires and natural disasters in the Company’s areas of operation.

To mitigate these risks to infrastructure, the Company constructs various strengthening solutions (anti-washout slab covers, rock dumping, rock anchorage) and structures for protection of the track bed from natural hazards (such as mudflows, landslides, avalanches and rockfalls).

In 2021, as part of its R&D plan, Russian Railways started comprehensive analysis of exposure of the Company's infrastructure to external factors. The work will result in the creation of a hardware and software system based on Russian Railways’ Geoinformation Platform to forecast and take account of changing environmental and anthropogenic factors affecting the technical condition of the engineering structure during its operating lifetime. As part of the above work, a methodology is being developed to calculate the impact of external risk factors on the condition and reliability of engineering structures.