RUSSIA: Russian Railways has decided to order a new batch of platskartny coaches, its most basic style of long-distance rolling stock.

RZD had been concerned that the open-plan dormitory-style accommodation in the third class cars was no longer attractive to passengers, and had been considering only ordering sleeping cars with compartments in the future.

However in response to public demand for the traditional style of coach it has now ordered 232 platskartny vehicles of an updated design from Transmashholding’s Tver Carriage Works. The contract has been placed within the terms of an existing framework for the supply a total of 515 single-deck coaches of varuious types.

The new generation of platskartny cars will offer an improved passenger environment with better insulation and the use of vibration absorbing materials. There will be CCTV and fire detection and extinguishing systems, as well as 220 V power sockets and USB sockets for charging mobile devices.

Air-conditioning is expect to provide a more pleasant onboard environment when many passengers are in close proximity on long journeys, while retention tanks will avoid the need to lock the toilets out of use while trains are passing through sanitation zones around inhabited areas.