transport and road facilities
The transportation of the region is made up by the highway and railway networks with road transportation having the leading position. The shortest way from Central Russia to Western Europe runs through the territory of the region, the distance from Smolensk to Berlin is 1470 km.
Highways connect the region with largest Baltic ports (the distance to Riga is 617 km, to St. Petersbourg – 706 km). The highway M-1 «Belarus» running through the territory of the Smolensk Region plays a key role in the regional economy (its length within the region is 302 km). The total length of highways in the Smolensk Region is 19902.8 km (72% of them have modern road surfaces). The main railways in the region connect it with other Russian regions, the CIS countries, the Baltic states and other parts of Europe. The largest railway hubs are Smolensk, Vyazma and Roslavl, they have loading, unloading, sorting and storing complexes for various kinds of freight. The length of railways for general use in the Smolensk Region reaches 1155 km, the railway network is rather dense (21.7 km per 1000 km 2).
The shipping companies carried 12.0 million tons of freight in the Smolensk Region in 2013 (5.6 million tons were carrried by railway, 6,4 million tons were carried by road transportation).
The cargo turnover in 2013 decreased by 4% and amounted to 20.5 billion ton-km, with 18.7 billion ton-km shipped by the railway and 1.8 billion ton-km carried by road transportation.