RUSSIA: The first Neva metro cars manufactured by the recently formed joint venture of Škoda Transportation and Kirovsky Zavod have entered service in St Petersburg.

The joint venture won an order for 54 metro cars for 3·2bn roubles, which will run in six-car formations. Deliveries are planned to run until mid-2014. The vehicles are made of lightweight materials and equipped with asynchronous electric motors, enabling energy savings of up to 30%.

The Škoda-Kirov joint venture is also to manufacture low-floor trams for the city.