RUSSIAN Railways (RZD) has signed an agreement with Ural Locomotives, a subsidiary of Sinara, for the production, certification and delivery of two high-speed trains to operate on the future Moscow - St Petersburg high-speed line.

The contract is worth Roubles 12bn ($US 119.6m) and delivery of the trains is scheduled for 2028.

RZD will supply the manufacturer with design documentation for the trains, which it says are now under development at the Railway Transport Engineering Centre in Moscow. RZD confirmed that preliminary design has been completed for the eight-car train, which will have a design speed of 400km/h, and will operate at up to 360km/h. It will also be capable of operating in multiple.

RZD confirmed further details of the 679km Moscow - St Petersburg high-speed line via Telegram on April 11. The line is expected to have 16 stations, and is expected to offer a 2h 15min journey time between Moscow and St Petersburg, with trains set to run every 10 minutes at peak times and 40 trains operating in each direction per day.

The line is expected to serve 23 million people per day and will offer a Moscow - Tver journey time of 39 minutes; 1h 15min between Moscow and Valdai; and 1h 41min between Moscow and Veliky Novgorod. The line is expected to require a total of 44 high-speed trains.

RZD says that design of the high-speed line is now 60% complete and that construction of the most complex section is underway on the outskirts of Moscow.

Russian president, Mr Vladimir Putin, oversaw a ceremony to launch the high-speed project on March 14.

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