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MOSCOW: May 14, 2019. Russian Railways (RZD) is to increase its electrified rolling stock with the acquisition of almost 1,000 new locomotives as it looks to reduce emissions in Russia.

The new electric locomotives are planned to be purchased over the next three years at a cost of around €2 billion.

RZD CEO meets Azerbaijan presidentThe electrification of its busiest lines, and decommissioning of diesel locomotives is one of Russian Railway’s strategic priorities. More than half of the 85,500km Russian rail network has now been electrified, and more than 85% of all rail passenger journeys in Russia take place on the electric network.

An expansion of Russian Railway’s existing fleet of Lastochka trains will form one pillar of this electrification process with the current 183 trains in service increasing to 270 by 2021. The Lastochka is an electric multiple unit high-speed train adapted from the Siemens Desiro family for the 1520 gauge network and the harsh Russian environment. The trains will serve passenger transit roles on both suburban and intercity routes.

With rising passenger journeys out of urban centres towards surrounding regions, Russian Railways has been building out its electrified network and rolling stock to offer transport at the best combination of speed and price, and with the lowest possible carbon impact. Journeys on high-traffic routes are forecast to rise, and Russian Railways actions should help to attract travellers away from cars and buses, and onto electrified trains.

Railway travel already offers significant advantages over road and air travel in terms of CO2 emissions and resource consumption. The Lastochka trains will improve this performance again, achieving CO2 emissions typically 3.5x lower than road transport and almost 10x lower than air transport.

Earlier this month Oleg Belozerov, the CEO and chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, met with Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev (right of picture), during a visit to Baku.

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