The participants of the IX International Rail Business Forum “1520 Strategic Partnership” have discussed the integration of high-speed lines into the single Russian railway network. They paid particular attention to the European experience of operating the infrastructure and rolling stock of high-speed lines and the technical solutions used on European railways.
Valentin Gapanovich, Senior Vice-President for Innovation Development and Chief Engineer at Russian Railways, said that the Company is currently engaged in the development of technical requirements for high-speed trains to run on Russian high-speed lines. The requirements will be completed by the end of 2014.
The work is being carried out on the basis of international experience, as well as the Company’s own experience in operating the high-speed Sapsan trains in Russia. It assumes speeds of up to 400 kph and the operation of rolling stock at temperatures ranging from -45 to +45 degrees.
Leading specialised research institutes are also working on the development, including JSC VNIIZhT, OAO NIIAS, OAO VNIKTI, consulting companies and rolling stock manufacturers.
The participants also discussed the trends in the development of high-speed rolling stock under contemporary conditions. The total length of high-speed railway lines around the world has already exceeded 21,000 km. In Europe, the longest high-speed lines are in Spain, France, Germany and Italy.
As Niko Warbanoff, Business Development Director at Deutsche Bahn, noted in his speech, Germany’s network of high-speed railway lines is integrated into the existing railway lines, and many lines carried a mixture of trains, such as high-speed, express and regional trains etc.
The construction of dedicated lines is rather expensive, so high-speed trains in Germany, as well as in Russia, run not only on dedicated lines, but also on upgraded lines at speeds of between 200-230 kph, such as the Hanover – Hamburg, Berlin – Hamburg lines and others.
However, the fully-fledged operation of high-speed trains requires the creation of a dedicated infrastructure which ensures the highest level of reliability and safety and maximum passenger comfort. The first specialised high-speed lines in Germany were laid between Frankfurt and Cologne in 1991.
Solving these problems is possible only by using the latest technologies and tools. Russian Railways has therefore established a project office as part of the investment project “Construction of the Moscow – Kazan High-Speed Line” in order to ensure their successful integration. It consists of Company vice presidents and senior managers in charge of finance and economics and handles the development of passenger transport, infrastructure operation, the transportation process, innovative development, construction, cooperation with authorities and training etc.
The Project Office coordinates the development of project parameters and the mechanisms for their implementation. Its responsibilities also include the development of the technical, technological and information solutions to be used in the construction and operation of high-speed lines, as well as proposals for relevant research.
High-speed lines in Russia will be built parallel to the existing lines and will carry intensive passenger and cargo traffic.
The production of parts of the permanent way and rolling stock etc. will be localised in Russia – Russian industry is already preparing for the introduction of high technology.
As a successful example, Valentin Gapanovich cited the Lastochka electric train, which is produced by Ural Locomotives in the town of Upper Pyshma, as an example of localising production in a joint project with the German company Siemens.
In late May 2014, the factory produced the first Russian Lastochka train with a localisation level of 65%, while domestic enterprises manufactured high-tech products with high added value. In the future, the level of localisation will rise to 85%.
The project involves more than 160 Russian enterprises and will create 10,000 new jobs.