UNITED Wagon Company (UWC), Russia, has opened a service centre in Kyrgyzstan to maintain new generation freight wagons, as the manufacturer looks to improve its footprint in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

State-owned operator Kyrgyz Railway will use the facility to carry out repairs on wagon couplings and store spare parts. The service centre was set up in several stages and classified as a category 3 centre by UWC, based on the facility’s equipment and staff qualifications.

UWC is providing further training for staff on various topics across the railway.

“The common railway gauge, common customs area and strong trade relations between Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan give a clear understanding that new generation wagons will soon become widely used on the railway network across the entire 1520mm-gauge area,” says the head of Kyrgyz Railway’s fleet division, Mr Pavel Nalivaiko. “Such fleet is more efficient than the old type and, therefore, could attract high interest on our market. This is why we are already working to prepare the service infrastructure. We are keeping pace with the times, understanding how the situation will evolve,”

“The geography of UWC’s service network is being built taking into account the routes of Tikhvin wagons as well as the wishes of fleet owners and lessees,” says Mr Igor Tkachev, managing director at wagon manufacturer Titran-Express, which UWC acquired in 2016. “The opening of the authorised centre in Kyrgyzstan reflects the development of new transport processes in Central Asia, in particular, in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. We are pleased that the new generation wagons are of interest not only in Russia, but also abroad. We look forward to developing further cooperation with the national railways of the 1520mm-gauge states.”

UWC now has 97 services centres located across the 1520mm-gauge network.

An interview with the CEO of Kazakhstan’s passenger operator will appear in the June issue of IRJ.