Stadler was awarded a $US 133m contract by Azerbaijan Railways (ADY) in June 2014 to supply 30 coaches for Kars - Tbilisi - Baku services, but the deal was subsequently renegotiated last year, reducing the order to 20 vehicles, which will be formed into two sets of 10 coaches.

A spokesman for Stadler told IRJ that the coaches are currently undergoing stationary commissioning, including high-voltage testing. The first 10 vehicles will be transported to Azerbaijan and handed over to ADY “in the first quarter of 2019.”

Photo: Daniel Wipf

The coaches were assembled at Stadler’s Altenrhein plant. Testing at speeds of up to 177km/h were carried out on the Nuremberg - Augsburg line in Germany at the end of last year.

The vehicles are equipped with RAFIL/DBAG type V adjustable wheelsets to enable operation on the 1520mm-gauge networks of Azerbaijan and Georgia and the 1435mm-gauge system in Turkey. The trains will switch between broad and standard gauge at Akhalkalaki on the Georgian-Turkish border.