Russian Railways (RZD) is planning to borrow an additional RUB40bn (approximately $1.3bn) in 2009 to help improve its economic crisis-hit rail freight operations.

After a fall of 15.4% in freight in 2009, the company hopes it will rise by 1.6–2% in 2010.

The loan would increase the total debt of the railways to RUB350bn ($11.30bn) by the end of 2009, RZD president Vladimir Yakunin revealed.

This comes even as RZD had planned an annual RUB250bn of investment for 2009 and 2010.

The money would be sought via credits instead of bonds.