Announcing the plans, RZD president Mr Vladimir Yakunin says that reform of the state-owned company's locomotive fleet will result in improved operational efficiency, with an estimated 16% increase in locomotive productivity envisioned by 2015.

"The locomotive fleet has traditionally been one of the key elements of the network's operations," Yakunin says. "Its efficiency and reliability dictates not only the rhythm and results of the company's work, but also the quality of freight and passenger services."


Many of the new locomotives are likely to be purchased from newly formed partnerships between Russian and European manufacturers. Transmashholding (TMH) and Alstom are currently developing the EP20 at TMH's plant in Novocherkassk, while Sinara and Siemens completed work in November on a prototype of a new generation 2ES10 electric freight locomotive.

"Russian Railways is now switching to new principles of partnership with railway equipment producers, harmonised with European standards," Yakunin says. "These are focused on comprehensive safety parameters, operational readiness, and lifecycle costs of equipment, which will define the company's technical policies in its relations with workers and producers."
Since forming in 2003, RZD has acquired more than 2000 locomotives, and rehabilitated another 3700 units, increasing productivity by 10%.