February 24, 2012

RZD and Talgo to develop variable-gauge trains

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RUSSIAN Railways (RZD) president Mr Vladimir Yakunin and Talgo CEO Mr Carlos Oriol signed a framework agreement in Madrid on January 25 for the Spanish manufacturer to work with the Russian Institutute of Railway Transport (VNIIZhT) on the development of gauge-changing trains for international services.

The deal covers the design, assembly and testing of three 200km/h trains for Moscow - Berlin services, and four sets for the Moscow - Kiev route.

As part of the project, the partners will adapt the Talgo automatic-gauge-changing system for operation in low temperatures, modify braking systems for use with 1520mm-gauge wheelsets, and ensure electromagnetic compatibility of the new vehicles with Russian infrastructure.

Talgo sees the agreement as a key opportunity to enter the Russian market, and it is keen to bid for contracts to supply sleeping cars to RZD for use on domestic routes.

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