Georgian Railway has introduced into service the first two Stadler Kiss double-deck EMUs. The new EMUs will connect the capital Tbilisi to Ureki, Kobuleti and Batumi resorts at the Black Sea.
The remaining two EMUs will be delivered in December this year and are expected to enter service in January-February 2017, on the same route.
Georgian Railway and Stadler Rail have signed a EUR 40 million contract for the supply of four Kiss double-deck in May 2016.
The EMUs were initially built for Russian rail passenger operator Aeroexpress, as part of a 24 double-decker multiple-units contact signed in 2013. However, as a result of the oil and gas crisis as well as the sanctions against Russia and the subsequent decline of the rouble, the rail company began experiencing financial difficulties shortly thereafter and the contract was renegotiated. According to the new agreement, Aeroexpress will receive nine 6-carriage and two 4-carriage KISS double-decker multiple-unit trains. Stadler also extended the repayment period and agreed to a grace period. The new financing plan was guaranteed by the Swiss Export Risk Insurance and Gazprombank.