Good grief. I thought we won the cold war. Here’s he corporate press release.
Production of Russian high-speed train starts
21 July 2007
Siemens Transportation Systems will commence production of the body shells for the first high speed trains, the Velaro RUS, for the Russian Railways (RZD).
During his visit to the Siemens plant in Krefeld-Uerdingen on 20 July, RZD president Vladimir Yakunin gave the formal go-ahead for the body shell production of the first Russian high speed train, Velaro RUS. Starting at the end of 2009, these trains would be capable of running at speeds of up to 250km per hour on a high-speed line between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Yakunin called the start of Velaro’s production a “significant milestone in the development of the cooperation between RZD and Siemens”. And he stated that the Velaro RUS, “whose design and technology reflected the highest standard in modern railway engineering, will soon enable RZD to catch up with other railway companies in the high speed rail sector and allow Russia to join the world’s elite club of high speed nations.”
During the visit by the Russian delegation, Hans M. Schabert, president, Siemens transportation systems, emphasised Siemens strong cooperation with the RZD on the Velaro project, calling it an “outstanding basis for a long-term partnership between Siemens and the RZD in all areas of railway technology.” He affirmed his belief that modern high-speed trains were the ideal means of satisfying Russia’s growing need for mobility.
Congratulating Yakunin on his decision to opt for the Velaro, the minister of transport of the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, Oliver Wittke, stressed that “the Velaro contract from Russia demonstrates impressively how well the railway industry is able to tap its innovative strength and utilise its international contacts in Germany’s most densely populated state.”
Back in May 2006, Siemens Transportation Systems had already received the contract to build a total of eight high-speed trains, all of which would be manufactured in its Krefeld-Uerdingen plant and delivered by 2010.
Siemens will also be responsible for service and maintenance of these trains for 30 years. In all, that contract is worth about €600 million euros. Yakunin and Schabert officially approved the start of production of the body shells when they placed their signatures on a document certifying that the first step in the milestone agreement had been achieved.
In Schabert’s words, the Velaro RUS will give the Russian Railways the “world’s most modern high speed train set.” It is similar to the ICE 3 used by German Rail and the Velaro E used by Spanish National Railways (Renfe). The ten cars of the multiple-unit formation offer enough space for over 600 passengers and are specially modified to meet both the particular technical and climatic conditions encountered in Russia. The trains are designed for the Russian broad-gauge tracks and are around 33 cm wider than the ICE 3.
So far Siemens has built over 160 EMU high speed trains that include the Russian Velaro RUS, the Chinese Velaro CN, the Spanish Velaro E and the German ICE 3
With its billions in investments each year, Russia is considered to be one of the largest market for trains in the coming decades.
In addition to the high-speed line between Moscow and St. Petersburg, other rail connections are being planned, including one between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod.
In Russia, a modern railway infrastructure featuring high-speed rail travel is considered a good response to the challenges of global warming. For instance, the amount of carbon dioxide, a contributor to global warming, emitted per passenger on high-speed trains is about one-third the amount caused by airliners.