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  Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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Russian Railways and Germany's Siemens signed Friday a 30-year maintenance contract
Russian Railways (RZD) and Germany's Siemens signed Friday a 30-year maintenance contract to service high-speed Velaro RUS trains used by the Russian railroad monopoly. RZD said Siemens will start serial production of the Velaro trains for RZD in Krefeld, Germany, July 20. "We are glad to sign a train maintenance contract following the train supply deal. Such a long-term project contributes to German-Russian economic relations, and we are happy with the fruitful cooperation with Russian Railways," a Siemens high-placed official said. RZD president Vladimir Yakunin said high-speed travel is a key goal for Russia, adding that the company is working on the technical specifications for potential partners to build high-speed railroads in Russia. He said RZD will buy 8 trains from Siemens. Dietrich Meller, Siemens president in Russia, said Thursday the $370 million maintenance contract for trains which will follow the Moscow-St. Petersburg route complies with the agreement reached with RZD in the summer of 2006. Meller also said Siemens is interested in setting up a joint venture in Russia to produce components and parts for rolling stock. He said Siemens also plans to bid in a tender to be held by the electric power monopoly Unified Energy System of Russia (UES) for a blocking interest in Russia's Power Machines. Velaro RUS trains, capable of traveling at 250 km per hour (155 miles per hour), or even faster after an upgrade, will be initially used on the Moscow-St. Petersburg route. Each train will consist of 10 cars and will be designed to carry 600 passengers. Their track gauge will be 33 cm wider than in Germany to ensure they are appropriate for Russia's railroad tracks. Power Machines designs, produces, supplies, maintains and modernizes equipment for steam, nuclear, hydro, and gas turbine power plants. Its largest shareholders include, UES and Siemens, which hold 25% plus one share each, and Interros, the holding company for the world's largest nickel producer, which owns 30.4%.
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