The first of two traction substations that will power Olympic train services in Sochi next year has gone live.

Russian Railways has described the milestone as “one of the most important stages” in the construction of the Adler – Alpika Service road-rail link.

The new rail route will transport Olympic visitors from the main Olympic village near Adler to the Alpika Service Mountain Resort through a series of six tunnels and 23 bridges.

Once in operation the Adler – Alpika Service line will be able to transport 8,500 passengers an hour between the two venues.

Lastochka trains will soon begin test runs on the line ahead of the scheduled completion in October 2013.