Impression of Hyundai Rotem high speed train for Uzbekistan (Image Hyundai Rotem)

UZBEKISTAN: Hyundai Rotem’s first order to export high speed trainsets was amongst several co-operation agreements signed during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on June 14.

Plans for the 270bn won order for Hyundai Rotem and South Korean operator Korail to supply and support six trainsets had first been announced when an Uzbek delegation visited South Korea last year.

Following confirmation of the order, Hyundai Rotem said the 250 km/h distributed power trainsets would be similar to the 260 km/h KTX-EUM sets operated by Korail.

The 1 520 mm gauge version to be supplied to Uzbek national railway UTY will have seven coaches rather than six, providing a total of 389 seats in VIP, business and economy classes and a dining car. They will be adapted operation in a hot and dusty environment, with additional steps for use at platforms just 200 mm above rail.

The trainsets are to be deployed on UTY’s Toshkent – Bukhara (590 km), Bukhara – Khiva (452 km) and Miskin – Nukus (196 km) services.

Export diplomacy

Hyundai Rotem said the South Korean government’s ‘active export diplomacy’ had played an important role in securing the order.

The Ministry of Economy & Finance and Export-Import Bank of Korea are providing finance through an Economic Development Co-operation Fund loan. The manufacturer said this followed the practice of other countries that offered financing to increase the international competitiveness of their high speed train manufacturers.

Hyundai Rotem said the order would establish a ‘bridgehead’ for future exports of high speed trains, and would support 128 domestic companies in its supply chain.