Russian Railways (RZD) is set to launch new dual formation Sapsan trains on a rail route connecting Moscow and St Petersburg, in order to cater to the increasing demand for high-speed transportation.
A contract to supply eight high-speed Sapsans was signed by RZD and Siemens in December 2011. Siemens also agreed to maintain the trains for a period of 30 years.
Four of the eight trains have already been delivered and are currently undergoing certification tests.
The new dual formation trains with 20 carriages will begin operating on the Moscow-St Petersburg route from 1 August.
The trains will have two bistro wagons, space for disabled passengers and the people accompanying them, as well as a service for unaccompanied minors.
The passengers will have an option to choose from three ticket classes, including first class, business class and economy class.
Each Sapsan train can accommodate 1,050 passengers.
In June, RZD procured the first batch of 100m head-hardened R65 DT-350 rails from Russian steel company Evraz.
The move forms a part of the modernisation project by the Evraz rail and beam mill, which received an investment of roughly RUB18bn ($514.31m).
Image: A Sapsan (Siemens Velaro Rus) train en route from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. Photo: courtesy of Mika Stetsovski.