The first experimental train Minsk-Vilnius left in the morning on April 12. The essence of the test is that passengers passed border and customs control directly at the departure station. The purpose of the unusual experiment is to reduce travel time. However, the procedure has yet to be optimized.
Boarding the train began 45 minutes prior to departure. Box offices asked the passengers to come in advance. Already at 7.15, customs officers and border guards were waiting near the cars. The first step was checking documents.
At 8am, the train went to the Lithuanian capital. In fact, there were no customs formalities. The test train will go from Minsk to Vilnius and back without stopping at stations Molodechno and Gudogai. This means reduction of travel time.
Anatoly Lappo, Head of the State Border Committee of Belarus:
The train Minsk - Vilnius went with 93 passengers. This is a non-stop train. Time savings amount to one hour. This will provide convenience to citizens who cross our border.
The purpose of the experiment is to find optimal variants of customs and border controls in international train lines.
Alexander Valiyev, head of the Minsk regional customs:
A positive result is the fact that the average time taken for clearance of goods transported by a passenger was not more than 30 seconds. This result gives us reason to hope that this technology will eventually be implemented in daily practice.
Meanwhile, experts emphasize that in order to introduce this format of work it is necessary to modernize the infrastructure the Minsk-Passazhirsky station, which is Minsk's central railway station.
Tatiana Revizore, CTV:
The second part of the experiment will take place tonight. Two hours later, the train will arrive in Minsk from Vilnius. Its passengers will be checked only upon arrival; that is, the procedure be again held in the Belarusian capital.