RUSSIA: Russian Railways has signed a €1·1bn order for a further 13 Velaro RUS high speed trains for use on the 650 km Moscow – St Petersburg route, Siemens Mobility announced on June 7. The 10-car 3 kV DC trainsets will be supplied by Siemens Mobility and the Ural Locomotives joint venture of Siemens and Sinara Group. The contract includes 30 years of maintenance. The order was signed on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. It follows the contract for an initial eight Velaro RUS trainsets which was signed by Siemens and RZD in 2006, and a follow-on order for eight more placed in 2011. ‘The fact that RZD is relying on Siemens Mobility for the third time in expanding its high speed fleet reflects the strong performance of our Velaro platform, which increases value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhances passenger experience and optimises availability’, said Siemens Mobility CEO Sabrina Soussan. ‘The Velaro has already proven its reliability in Russia after covering more than 50 million fleet-km since 2009.’ The Russian variant of the Velaro family is branded ‘Sapsan’ (Peregrine Falcon) by RZD. The 1520 mm gauge trainsets are designed to operate at up to 250 km/h on upgraded conventional infrastructure in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +40°C.