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Last month, five managers from Russian railway Eurosib visited the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad (WSOR) to learn more about the U.S. freight-rail industry.The delegation — which included Eurosib Chief Executive Officer Dmitri Nikitin — met with WSOR executives, toured the railroad's Milwaukee headquarters and visited the dispatch center. Due to rail reform efforts in Russia, Nikitin was interested in learning how major U.S. railroads balance privatization with national economic goals and regulatory standards, WSOR officials said in a news item posted on the regional's website. The vertical integration of the U.S. rail industry also was a discussion topic.The visitors "were fascinated with how our industry is based on the free market supply/demand of goods and services," WSOR officials said. "In Russia, the infrastructure and assets are owned by the national government, and service and rates are set forth by the government. Learning how successful the U.S. freight industry has become since passage of the Staggers Act will help Eurosib prepare itself for complete privatization of the Russian railroad system, which is currently under discussion."One of Russia's largest railway operators and logistics providers, Eurosib owns 14,000 rail cars, operates two terminals (in Saint Petersburg and Novosibirsk) and moves 20 million tons of freight. The company also provides logistic services in cooperation with Russian state railway RZD.
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