Knorr-Bremse and Federal Cargo Company FGK create new joint venture in Russia

Federal Cargo Company FGK, a subsidiary of Russian Railways RZD, and Knorr-Bremse have established a joint venture in Russia by the name of Knorr-Bremse 1520. The new joint venture company is to manufacture rail vehicle brake technology products for use in Russia and other CIS states.

The agreement between Knorr-Bremse and FGK was signed at a ceremony on the premises of the Russian company in Moscow.

The name of the new company, Knorr-Bremse 1520, is derived from the Russian track gauge of 1520 millimeters. The joint venture is based in the city of Tver, roughly 170 kilometers north of Moscow. Knorr-Bremse 1520 began operations with the signing of the agreement, with manufacturing activities initially taking place at the existing Knorr-Bremse plant in Voronezh. Construction work on a new factory in Tver with almost 16,000 square meters of production space has already begun. In 2014 the joint venture will transfer its entire production operations to Tver, creating
some 400 jobs at the new plant. The total investment in state-of-the-art production equipment runs to approximately EUR 26 million. Knorr-Bremse already commands an extensive product portfolio specifically geared to the needs of the CIS market and which from now on will increasingly be manufactured locally. In addition, the existing portfolio will be extended in the medium term to include further products that are also adapted to local requirements and will be manufactured in Tver. One new core product of the joint venture company will be control valves for the CIS market,
destined for use in the various rail vehicles operating in the cargo sector. Another focus will be on the production of disc brakes and oil-free compressors. In the course of extensive development projects, Knorr-Bremse has designed and built these products to operate at temperatures as low as minus 60°C in line with the respective product applications and regional requirements.

“For Knorr-Bremse, this new joint venture offers numerous opportunities to win a more extensive share of the railway market in the CIS states,” says Dr. Dieter Wilhelm, Executive Board Member of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for rail vehicle systems. “In the medium to long term there will be many new-building and modernization projects in this market. And operators are increasingly focusing on vehicle life cycle costs and component reliability as rail vehicle speeds rise.”

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Vitalij Evdokimenko, General Director of OAO FGK emphasized that “The joint venture will be the only company in the country to manufacture state-of-the-art braking systems for passenger coaches and cargo wagons, as well as for the latest generation of Russian multiple units. This is an important step in the context of Strategy 2030 that aims to modernize the railway industry in Russia.”

As a result of its long years of experience in the Russian and CIS markets, Knorr-Bremse can draw upon a deep pool of experience and expertise that the company will be able to translate into customer benefits in the course of future projects. Back in the 1960s the former main Knorr-Bremse plant in East Berlin supplied brake equipment for Soviet passenger coaches. Today, equipment from Knorr-Bremse can be found in service in Russian mainline passenger coaches, locomotives and multiple units. Russian high-speed trains, such as the Siemens Sapsan and the Alstom Allegro, are also equipped with reliable Knorr-Bremse braking and on-board systems. In addition, the almost nine million people who use the Moscow Metro each day all rely on proven technology from Knorr-Bremse. By establishing this joint
venture, the Munich-based braking systems specialist is further strengthening its market position.

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