BELARUS Railways has put into service the first of two diesel multiple-units ordered from Latvian manufacturer RVR at a cost of US$3m each.

The end vehicles of the six-car set are powered by Zvezda engines built in St Petersburg, with Russian-built transmissions. Designed to offer a similar level of comfort to refurbished DMUs in Lithuania, the sets have 68 seats per power car and 62 to 80 in the intermediate vehicles, with a guard’s van, a bar, Blaupunkt LCDinformation screens and air-conditioning in first class.

The first unit entered service from Gomel depot in January, covering the 270 km run to the capital Minsk in 4h15min.