ON DECEMBER 21 an agreement was signed by Russian Railways President Gennady Fadeyev and DG AG Chairman Hartmut Mehdorn to create passenger transport joint venture TransBaltZug.

Registered in Kaliningrad, TransBaltZug is 50·5% owned by RZD and 49·5% by German Railway, with both parties having equal decision-making rights. The core business of the joint venture will be providing passenger transport and touring services between Russia and Germany. It will also undertake rolling stock operation and maintenance and attract investment to the routes used.

This spring TransBaltZug will launch a luxury tourist service between Berlin, Kaliningrad and St Petersburg, using a heavily refurbished Talgo gauge-changing trainset.