TWO advanced designs of electric locomotive have been approved for regular service on Russian Railways, following the completion of commissioning trials. The occasion was marked by a ceremony at the Shcherbinka test centre attended by Minister of Railways V I Starostenko (third from left) and Vice-Minister Kondratenko (right). The two designs are the EP10 dual-system Bo-Bo-Bo for 160 km/h operation, and the EP200 Bo-Bo+Bo-Bo for 200 km/h operation on 25 kV routes.

Described by Mr Starostenko as ’a locomotive for the 21st Century’, the 7200 kW EP10 with asynchronous three-phase drives has been developed jointly by Adtranz Switzerland and the Novocherkassk Electric Loco Works, as a derivative of the successful VL65. The first of the 20 locos was handed over for revenue trials on RZD last November (RG 1.99 p6), and has since been hauling trains of up to 25 coaches.

Two prototypes of the 8000 kW EP200 design have been built by the Kolomna works, and the first has been running on the Moscow - Brest route since the start of this year (RG 3.99 p130). The EP200 has a 21·5 tonne axleload and synchronous motors.

During the presentation, Starostenko reiterated that RZD would need to replace around 1500 of its fleet of 3 295 main line electric locomotives over the next few years.