On 27 August 2014, Aeroexpress celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Belorussky-Sheremetyevo route. It is noteworthy that the airport also celebrated its own 55th birthday this month. In fact, Aeroexpress trains first ran to Sheremetyevo in June 2008 when the unique Aeroexpress five-storey rail terminal of the international airport became open to visitors. At that time, however, trains departed from Savyolovsky Rail Terminal.
From the very beginning, when the express rail service to Sheremetyevo Airport was just arranged, the company decided that the trains will operate from Belorussky Rail Terminal as it met the intermodality criteria and was also a transport hub connecting the international rail station and the radial and circle metro lines (unlike Savyolovsky, which was a terminus only for suburban services). The redevelopment of the part of the rail terminal where the Aeroexpress complex was to be built, began on 27 September 2007. On 27 August 2009, in addition to putting the company’s terminal into operation, Aeroexpress launched regular services between Belorussky Rail Terminal and Sheremetyevo Airport.
In recent years, millions of people have travelled along this route in Aeroexpress trains. The number of passengers exceeded 560,000 people in the first year of operation. In 2009, however, this figure reached one and a half million, eventually surpassing 6.6 million travellers in 2013. During its six years of continuous growth, Aeroexpress has been following a path of offering maximum comfort for its passengers. In 2011, armchairs were installed in all carriages according to a 3+2 seating arrangement scheme, instead of the previous 2+2. This enabled increasing the number of seats by 30%. Trains consisting of eight carriages, one of which was for baggage, were replaced by ten-carriage passenger trains, resulting in a 20% capacity increase.
The construction of the Aeroexpress rail terminal in the airfield territory has become an important stage in Sheremetyevo’s development. The unique multifunctional complex, the opening of which rang in the operation of intermodal services between the city and the airport, provides passengers with an entire range of services that are required for travellers. These include pharmacies, restaurants, shops, ATMs, offices of communications providers, capsular hotel, luggage storage facilities, luggage wrapping service, and Skype booths. Before the end of this year, Aeroexpress plans to commence the construction of a similar terminal complex at Domodedovo Airport.
The fifth anniversary of the Belorussky Rail Terminal – Sheremetyevo route is a milestone for both the intermodal carrier and the airport. The future development of rail services to Sheremetyevo is particularly associated with the airport’s ambitious plans to build a new terminal in its northern part, expected to serve up to 53 million people by 2023 at the same high quality. “We are ready to develop along with the airport,” says Alexey Sorokin, Operating Chief Officer of Aeroexpress. “Together with RZhD and the Moscow Administration, we are currently negotiating the construction of a separate terminus at Belorussky Rail Terminal, from where rail services to the airport’s northern terminal complex will operate.”
The modern comfortable AERO trains, designed for Aeroexpress by the Demikhovsky Engineering Plant, are serving the Belorussky-Sheremetyevo route. Currently, they are the most innovative and convenient trains, which have no equivalent in Russia. All carriages feature ergonomic armchairs, toilets, monitors, air conditioning, camera surveillance and loud speaker communication systems. In mid-2015, double-deck trains, produced by the Swiss Stadler Rail Group, will run between Belorussky Rail Terminal and Sheremetyevo Airport and also along other Aeroexpress routes in Moscow.