NIZHNY NOVGOROD, December 11, 21:02 /ITAR-TASS/. Lastochka high-speed trains will temporary discontinue running between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod from January 15 to service Olympic routes in Sochi.
Lastochka trains started running between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod in late April 2013, covering more than 400 km in four hours and making three stops on the way.
Serial production of Lastochka electric trains has been launched at the Russian company Ural Locomotives, which is a joint venture created by Sinara Group and Siemens AG.
Ural Locomotives plans to make the first nine five-carriage trains and certify them in 2014 and supply 30 such trains for Russian Railways in 2015.
Production of the electric Lastochka (Desiro RUS) began in April 2011 at the Siemens AG plant in Krefeld in Germany.
Russian Railways CEO Vladimir Yakunin said, “Lastochka trains are comfortable, energy efficient and environmentally friendly trains.”
In late April 2011, Yakunin and Peter Loscher, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Board of Siemens, signed the documents giving the green light to the production of the Lastochka electric trains and the procurement of components.
On April 26, 2011, the official signing ceremony was held at the Siemens plant in Krefeld, where the first Lastochka trains were built on the Desiro platform. The ceremony was also attended by Peter Ramsauer, Germany’s Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs.
Russian Railways and Siemens AG signed a Certificate of Acceptance for the first batch of 38 Desiro trains composed of 5 carriages on January 27, 2012, which duly arrived at Ust-Luga on the St. Petersburg rail ferry on March 5 of that year.
Lastochka trains currently operate on several routes: Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg - Chudovo - Novgorod-on-Volkhove, St. Petersburg - Chudovo - Bologoe, Sochi - Sochi Airport and Kazan - Kazan airport.
The Lastochka is becoming more popular every day, with increasing numbers of requests from passengers to begin services on various routes.
In 2014, all 38 trains will provide transport services for passengers during the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.
Afterwards, some of the trains will remain at North-Caucasus Railways as a symbol of the Olympics, while the remaining Lastochkas will be reallocated to busier rail hubs, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.
The Lastochka electric train was developed through cooperation between Russian Railways and Siemens AG. It is designed for suburban passenger services on Russia's railways, which have both high and low platforms. The Lastochka has a maximum operating speed of 160 kph and can operate at temperatures from -40 degrees Celsius to +40 degrees Celsius without any restrictions due to the maritime climate around Sochi.
The design incorporates a variety of features which enable it to operate in different climatic zones, including technology to prevent the accumulation of ice, snow and condensation in different parts of the rolling stock, for example by using sealed insulation on components, fitting local heating systems and providing drainage.
Each train consists of 5 carriages. Seats in the passenger salon are arranged 2+3 and doors between the inter-car walkways are located at both ends of each carriage. Sanitary units are located in the train's head carriages and designed to allow passengers with disabilities to use them with ease.
Each carriage is equipped with a compact air conditioning system located on the roof of the carriage body. Each head carriage is also equipped with a compact air conditioner for the driver's cab which operates independently of the passenger compartment's air conditioner. The recycled air is decontaminated using ultraviolet radiation. Under normal conditions, the conditioning system provides for air exchange, heating and cooling in the passenger compartment and the driver's cab, Russian Railways said.