RUSSIA: State railway RZD called for expressions of interest in the privatisation of 22 wagon repair and maintenance depots on May 5. RZD expects to raise at least 2·6bn roubles from the sale, which is intended to introduce competition to the fright rolling stock maintenance sector.

Between them the 22 depots repaired a total of 18 540 RZD wagons and 20 841 privately-owned vehicles in 2007. The plants have been grouped into five sets of four or five sites to simplify the sell-off, which the State Unitary Enterprise for the Sale of Moscow Property expects to complete in July.

The new owners will be required to retain the plants as a wagon works, and employ existing staff on current or better terms.