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Russia's High-speed Train Network Expands

Siemens Desiro RUS type trains
Siemens Desiro RUS type trains (Siemens)

Last week Russia's high-speed train link, Lastochka (Swallow) ferried Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and guests from Leningradsky Station to Tver in just under 1.5 hours. Cutting previous conveyance times by over an hour, the new high speed train link lives up to it's name.

This fast bird train link at 160 kilometers per hour is scheduled to run every 7 minutes, with one way tickets costing 400 rubles (or about $6 dollars). The latest edition in Russia's growing high speed network, this Tver link joins other fast trains service now connecting Moscow with Tver, St. Petersburg and Helsinki to the west, as well as Nizhny Novgorod to the east. Also in this news, a planned high-speed rail link between Moscow and Kazan, 700 kilometers east, is planned by 2020. Rail authorities are also discussing the construction of a fast railroad between Moscow and Beijing in China, a trip that currently take a week along the famous Trans-Siberian Railway.

Lastochka EMU Maintenance Depot Opened in Moscow
Via Ural Locomotives

The Lastochka trains, originally designed by Germany's Siemens to operate in Sochi during the Winter Olympics, were first produced in Russia in 2013. Named for the super fast bird, the swallow, the Lastochka is designed to provide high-speed service even in extreme weather. Siemens has literally domination the development of Russian high-speed rail with a second great innovation created specifically for Russian Railways, with the Desiro RUS electric light rail Lastochka designs.

Earlier this Summer a Maintenance and Repair Depot (image above) was opened to support the Lastochka ES2G EMUs manufactured by the Ural Locomotives factory. The all new maintenance facility was also inaugurated by the Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of the Sinara Group Board of Directors Dmitry Pumpyansky, and CEO of Siemens Russia/Central Asia Dietrich Möller.