June 20, 2016

Russia finances Cuban locomotive modernisation

Written by  Erwin Reidinger
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Russia finances Cuban locomotive modernisation Erwin Reidinger

THE government of Cuba signed a €190m loan agreement with the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (Exiar) during last-week's St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which will be used by Cuban Union Railways (UFC) to finance the modernisation of its locomotive fleet.

The signing of the agreement follows a close inspection of various locomotive maintenance facilities in Cuba by officials from Lyudinovo locomotive works. Lyudinovo is part of Sinara Transport Machines, whose CEO Mr Eugene Gritsenko also signed the agreement in St Petersburg.

The loan will be used in part to overhaul the existing fleet of type TGM4 (Cuban class 37) and TGM6 (Cuban class 38) locomotives. This includes modernisation of the Cienaga Locomotive Shops in Havana and spare parts for modernisation and overhaul of 75 TGM locomotives.

In addition, Lyudinovo will deliver 75 new TGM locomotives to UFC including 60 TGM8s, which will be similar to the TGM6s already in service in Cuba, together with 15 TGM4s.

A project to supply DMUs and passenger coaches for suburban services will also be coordinated under the loan and Lyudinovo will provide maintenance support for more than 300 Russian-built diesel locomotives in service on the island. This covers both the UFC fleet and locomotives in use with the sugar industry (Minaz) which are now also under the administration of FCC.

With the necessary financing now in place, the Cuban government plans to sign the contract with Sinara on August 10.

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