Sinara has delivered two of the double-unit TG16M locomotives to the island for tests. The first locomotive underwent static and dynamic testing at the Sinara plant in Lyudinovo in October while the second was sent to the Russian Institute of Research, Design and Technological Studies for Railway Rolling Stock (VNIKTI) at Kolomna for evaluation.

Trials on the island will enable RZD to determine maximum speeds and train loads before the locomotives enter traffic. The fleet is due to be introduced in July 2015 and will primarily be used on mineral trains on the Yuzhno – Sakhalinsk – Kholmsk line. With gradients of up to 3%, these trains are currently formed of no more than 20 wagons.

The 2.94MW locomotives are fitted with Voith L 530 breU2 turbo transmission, cooling system equipped SIlentVent fans and double-block radiators, and BR153/BR199 couplings.

RZD placed the order for the locomotives with Sinara in June 2012.