KAZAKHSTAN: Wide-bodied coaches developed by Tulpar-Talgo for operation in the 1 520 mm gauge region have been certified for use in the Eurasian Economic Union member states of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. The certification document was formally handed over in Astana on November 29.

The 3 200 mm wide coaches produced by the Astana-based joint venture of national railway KTZ and Talgo are a development of 2 950 mm wide vehicles which the Spanish company had previously supplied to KTZ. Tulpar-Talgo is currently producing Tourist and Grand Class versions of the coaches, with electric wheelchair lifts, accessible toilets and showers.

The certification programme involved organisations in Kazakhstan, Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, the Czech Republic, Italy, the UK and France. Load testing was undertaken in Leipzig, fatigue strength was tested in Madrid, and the Rail Tec Arsenal climate chamber in Wien was used for humidity, high and low temperature and wind speed testing. Dynamic testing at up to 200 km/h was undertaken in Kazakhstan.

Tulpar-Talgo coaches are to be used on the Astana – Almaty route from December, and from early next year on the Almaty – Shymkent route. By 2021 KTZ plans to deploy them on services from Almaty to Pavlodar, Kostanai and Mangyshlak, from Aktobe to Mangyshlak and Atyrau and from Astana to Leninogorsk and Saryagash.