RUSSIA: Plans to order dual-system electric locos for high speed passenger trains were announced by Russian Railways President Gennady Fadeyev on March 2.

On the same day RZD and Russian locomotive builder Transmash Holding signed an agreement with Bombardier Transportation covering a pre-series build of 12 EP10 locos. To be built by 2006 at an estimated cost of 450m roubles, they will be built at Novocherkassk using three-phase traction equipment from Bombardier. Two are to be completed by July, and five more by the end of this year. The agreement also provides for series production in the longer term.

Fadeyev said the first locos would be used on the Moscow - Kyiv route, cutting the journey time between the Russian and Ukrainian capitals by 5h. The existing EP10 prototype was due to be tested at the North Caucasus Railway's Belorechenkaya-Maykop test centre last month. The others will work on the Moscow - Smolensk - Minsk and Moscow - Nishni Novgorod routes.

  • State planning institute Giprotrans is drawing up proposals for a network of high speed lines radiating from Moscow. Top priority is a 650 km route to St Petersburg, which would open around 2020. This would be followed by a line to Minsk and Brest (1040 km) in 2025. Routes from Moscow to Rostov-na-Donu and Sochi (1630 km) and to Nishni Novgorod and Ekaterinburg (1435 km) would follow around 2030.