Sokolov told a cabinet meeting that RZD will acquire 770 locomotives, which is the "the most Russia can produce in a single year."

According to the Moscow Times, industry and trade minister Mr Denis Manturov said that most of the locomotives will be supplied by Transmashholding, which is 25 per cent-owned by Alstom.

RZD aims to achieve a 15% improvement in locomotive productivity by 2015 and has ordered around 400 new locomotives this year as part of a drive to reduce the average age of the fleet. More than 70% of RZD's electric locomotives, and more than 80% of its diesels, are considered life-expired.

The Russian government's Rail Transport Development Strategy calls for an investment of €27.5bn in new locomotives between 2010 and 2030.