Russian Railways to Purchase Record Number of Locomotives

Russian Railways plans to buy a record number of locomotives next year to upgrade its aging fleet, Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov said .

That is good news for French engineering conglomerate Alstom and its German competitor Siemens, which hold stakes in key Russian locomotive suppliers.

State-owned Russian Railways will spend 85 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) on the purchases next year, or about a fifth of its investment program for the period, Sokolov said.

The money will buy 770 long- and short-haul locomotives, he said.

“This is the most that the Russian Federation can produce per year,” Sokolov said at a regular Cabinet meeting, which endorsed Russian Raiways’ spending for next year.

Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said that Transmashholding, co-owned by Alstom, will supply most of the machines.

Siemens is a partner in a joint venture named Sinara that makes locomotives.

Russian Railways’ total investment spending approved for next year measures 411 billion rubles. The number dwarfs the 1.1 billion rubles that the company expects to earn in profit next year.

It will receive a federal subsidy and borrow 176 billion rubles to raise the funds for investment.

Some of the other major priorities for Russian Railways are completing its railway projects for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, which will require 33 billion rubles next year, and increasing the through-put capacity of the rail network in and around Moscow, with 17.5 billion rubles set aside for the task.

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Source : The Moscow Times

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