The demand for the Sapsan service, which opened in December 2009, is so strong that Yakunin says that RZD is considering purchasing eight additional Sapsan trains. Although he declined to give details of the deal in an interview Vedomosti Business Daily, an announcement is expected by the end of the year.
While Sapsan is proving to be a huge successful, RZD's other passenger services are loss making. Yakunin says that the losses amount to Roubles 34 billion ($US 1.1 billion) from commuter services and Roubles 36 billion from long-distance routes. RZD says the rates for these services are regulated respectively by regional authorities and Federal Tariff service and are lower than the economically justifiable level so the government is required to make up the difference through subsidies.