FURTHER sections of the Russian Railways network are being electrified under a Master Programme to convert more main lines. From mid-January electric locomotives replaced diesels on the 105 km Obozyorst - Vonduga section of the Northern Railway’s Vologda - Belomorsk main line. Wiring is now in hand over the 120 km between Vonduga and Malenga, and from Malenga to Belomorsk on the October Railway.

In the Volga region, electrification at 25 kV 50Hz is under way over the 241 km between Karamyshin, Petrov Val and Ilovlya. The wires will eventually reach Kotelnokovo on the North Caucasian Railway.

Almost half of RZD’s 86660 km network is electrified, with 21500 km at 25 kV 50Hz and 18800 km at 3 kV DC. The Master Programme for electrification was agreed on November 30 last year at a meeting of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Railways, and the threshold where electrification is justified has been set at 20 to 25 million gross tonne-km a year. The pace of work is to increase from 300 to 500 km/year in the 1990s to 500 or 600 km/year. n