RUSSIA: On November 18 Siemens and RZD signed an agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin under which they are to set up an engineering centre to develop and manufacture multiple-units for the 1 520 mm gauge market.

The centre will be part of the joint venture which RZD, Siemens and RZD subsidiary Aeroexpress have agreed to form early next year to supply and service commuter EMUs in Russia.

In December 2009 RZD and Siemens signed an initial €410m contract for 38 five-car 160 km/h Desiro-based Lastochka suburban EMUs. These will be built at the German firm's Krefeld plant for delivery from February 2011 to October 2013. At InnoTrans an order was placed for an additional 16 to be delivered by the end of 2014. These will have 35% Russian content, starting a process of localisation.

RZD is currently negotiating an order for a further 1 200 EMU cars to be delivered by 2020. These would have a steadily increasing proportion of local content, reaching 80% by 2017.