March 07, 2012

First RZD Desiro emu shipped to Russia

Written by  Keith Fender, Regional editor
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First RZD Desiro emu shipped to Russia Photo: Keith Fender
SIEMENS has despatched the first five-car Desiro Rus emu for Russian Railways (RZD) to the Russian port of Ust Luga using the 1520mm-gauge train ferry from Sassnitz Mukran on Germany's Baltic coast.
The initial batch of 38 dual-system (3kV dc/25kV ac) trains was ordered in December 2009, and production began at Krefeld last April, with the first completed train being handed over to RZD in a ceremony at the plant on January 27.

Transporting the completed emu to the port was not a straightforward task. At 3.5m wide, the vehicles were too large to be moved on the German rail network, so the train was taken by road to a nearby river port, transferred to a barge and shipped to Amsterdam where it was transhipped to a coastal vessel, which carried it through the Kiel Canal to the Baltic.

After unloading at Sassnitz, the vehicles were again moved by road to the 1520mm rail terminal where they were finally coupled together to form a complete train. After arrival in Russia the new trains will be taken for commissioning at Metallostroy depot in St Petersburg, where Siemens maintains the RZD Sapsan high-speed train fleet.

The 160km/h Desiro Rus trains, which have been dubbed "Lastochka" or "Swallow" by RZD, will enter service in time for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.

A second batch of 16 trains will be built at the Ural Locomotive Works facility in Verkhnaya Pyshma near Yekaterinburg by Train Technologies, a joint venture of Siemens and Russian partner Sinara, with deliveries due to begin next year. Train Technologies has a contract worth Euros 2 billion to supply a further 240 Lastochka sets, and RZD says the level of local content will reach 80% by 2017.
Siemens will maintain the first 54 trains for 40 years under a contract signed with RZD last September.

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