UZEBEKISTAN Railways has awarded Hyundai Rotem a Won 270bn ($US 187.9m) contract to supply six trains with a maximum speed of 250km/h, in what is the first export order for Korean high-speed technology.

The contract also includes maintenance which Hyundai Rotem will undertake in collaboration with the Korean national operator Korail.

Hyundai Rotem says that the new trains will be similar to the KTX-Eum trains which first began operating at Korail in 2021. Key differences include operation on 1520mm-gauge infrastructure with a platform height of 200mm, as well as taking traction current at 25kV 50Hz ac.

The new trains for Uzbekistan will each have seven cars compared with the six-car KTX-Eum. They will each seat a total of 389 passengers in three classes of accommodation - VIP, business and economy - and there will also be a dining car.

Like the KTX-Eum, the trains will be equipped with distributed traction, now in use on over 70% of the Korean high-speed fleet, and will be the first trains of this configuration in Uzbekistan.

The new trains will also be designed for local conditions, able to withstand high desert temperatures and equipped with filters to prevent the ingress of dust and sand.

Uzbekistan Railways plans to operate the Hyundai Rotem fleet on 1216km of lines, including Tashkent - Bukhara (590km), and the new lines currently under construction from Miskin to Nukus (196km) and from Bukhara to Khiva (430km).

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