RUSSIA: Governor of Sakhalin oblast Oleg Kozhemyako has signed a 600m rouble contract with Tver Carriage Works covering the supply of 10 passenger cars, ordered as part of the programme to convert the island’s railway network from 1 067 mm to 1 520 mm gauge.

With options for a further six cars taking the potential order value to a total of 1bn roubles, TVZ will be supplying four types of vehicle to Sakhalin, although the precise quantities of each design to be ordered have yet to be determined. The new long-distance fleet will include sleeping cars, both TVZ’s standard model and an enhanced design with a compartment for disabled passengers, as well as restaurant cars and second class vehicles with seats convertible to berths for overnight travel.

Delivery is planned for 2018, but TVZ says that it has already allocated production slots for 16 cars next year, enabling them to enter service in summer 2017. According to the manufacturer, stainless steel construction should allow a 40-year service life in the humid climate of Sakhalin.