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High-speed Velaro RUS sets new railway speed record

281 km/h between Moscow and St. Petersburg

The Velaro RUS high-speed train from Siemens Mobility has set a new speed record on Russian railroad tracks. During trials of the running gear and electrical systems on May 2, the “Sapsan”, or peregrine falcon as this new high-speed train is called in Russia, sped over the Okulovka–Mstinskiy Most section of line between Moscow and St. Petersburg at 281 km/h.

“This is the first time that such a speed has been achieved on the Russian railway,” announced Valentin Gapanovich, Senior Vice President of Russian Railways (RZD).

Previous tests showed that the train would be able to travel at a speed of 200 km/h in normal service. After modernization of the infrastructure and a large part of the 645-kilometer line between Moscow and St. Petersburg, it has now proved possible to increase the speed to 230 km/h.

In the course of these trials, the new train is now to be “run in” on two other lines. First of all, trial runs are to be carried out on the Belorechenskaya–Maikop test track of Severo-Kavkazskaya Railways. After that, trial operation is planned on the tracks of the Gorkovskaya railway line.

These trials are due to be completed by November of this year. They will be followed by the first regularly scheduled run between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Passengers will then only need 3 hours and 45 minutes to travel between the two cities. Almost an hour will be saved in the process. The average round-trip time will be eight hours.

December 2009 has been set as the date for the contractual acceptance inspection and start of commercial service. Siemens Mobility is to supply eight trains of the Velaro RUS type to RZD by 2010. The contract for the trains and their maintenance over a 30-year period was awarded to Siemens in May 2006.

All the photos are available at:

Peter Gottal
+49 9131 7-20238

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