MOSCOW, April 28 (Itar-Tass) - A new high-speed train Lastochka (Swallow) will set off on its maiden voyage from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday. It will take four hours to cover the distance between the two cities.
A source at the Russian Railways Company told Itar-Tass that the train of five carriages created by the German Siemens will operate on a daily basis until September 30. The train will leave Moscow at 14:15 Moscow time and will arrive in Nizhny Novgorod four hours later at 18:15 Moscow time. The train will start its back trip to Moscow at 19:10 Moscow time and will return to the Kursk Railway station at 23:15 Moscow time.
"The train will make one-minute stops in Dzerzhinsk and Kovrov and a two-minute stop in Vladimir,” the Russian Railways source said.
The fare between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod will be 850 rubles. Special tariffs have been set for trips between interim stations.
The Russian Railways recalled that new express trains were nothing new to Russian passengers. High-speed trains have already connected Velikiy Novgorod, Bologoye and St. Petersburg. Very soon, the Lastochkas or the Swallows will start “flying” to Kazan and Sochi where they will connect these cities to local airports.
High-speed trains are not newcomers on the line between Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod. The Sapsan (Falcon) trains have been circulating here for several years. The travel time between the two destinations is 3 hours 55 minutes. Now, the Sapsans will operate together with the Lastochka trains.
The Lastochka trains have been designed by German Siemens for Russian railways. The design is based on the Deziro platform. The Lastochka has the same streamline shapes as the Sapsan but its nose is not that sharp. Besides, the Lastochka trains, often called “commuter trains of the future” have wider carriages than the Sapsan.
The carriages have multi-color comfortable seats, which look well under a soft and simultaneously bright light. An electronic table showing the time and the route is installed under the ceiling. The Lastochka trains can operate both on direct and alternate currents. Each train consists of five carriages with a total capacity of more than 850 passengers.
The Lastochka’s maximum service speed is 160 kilometers per hour. The brake equipment and hauling characteristics have been designed with account of safe operation in mountainous terrain. Besides, new trains are adapted to conditions of operation in extreme temperatures from minus 40 to plus 40 degrees Centigrade.
The first Lastochka train was assembled at a plant in the German city of Krefeld. It was accepted for service last January. It was the first out of 38 trains ordered in 2009. The Russian Railways ordered another 16 trains a year later. In September 2011, representatives of Russian railways and Siemens signed contracts for the production of 1,200 carriages for the Lastochka express train and for technical maintenance of 54 electric trains of this series.
Starting from this year, the Lastochka trains will be produced by the Urals Locomotives joint-stock company, a joint venture set up by the Sinara Group and Siemens, at a plant in the town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma of the Sverdlovsk region.