RUSSIA: The Talgo rolling stock which is currently under construction for Federal Passenger Co will replace Siemens Sapsan trainsets on the Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod route, Russian Railways announced on June 11.

The Sapsan trainsets, designated Velaro RUS by the manufacturer, are to be concentrated on the Moscow – St Petersburg route. This will enable the provision of a regular-interval service which RZD President Vladimir Yakunin said would enable rail to compete with all modes of transport including buses.

Three of the seven trainsets being supplied by Patentes Talgo will be equipped with gauge changing equipment for use on the Moscow – Minsk – Warszawa – Berlin route from December 2015, while four 1 520 mm gauge sets will run on the domestic routes. It had previously been envisaged that these trainsets would be used on Moscow – Kyiv services.

The first trainset is currently undergoing certification and acceptance tests at the VNIIZhT circuit at Shcherbinka near Moscow, where it was inspected on June 10 by Yakunin and Patentes Talgo President José María Oriol. The trainset is expected to complete its test programme in September. Two cars will also be tested at the Rail Tec Arsenal climate chamber in Wien.