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Stadler Minsk Starts Assembly of Double-Decker Trains for Aeroexpress

Jul 30, 2014

Moscow, 30 July 2014 – Construction of Stadler Rail Group’s factory in Fanipol (Belarus) is almost completed. The assembly of double-decker trains, produced by Stadler in Swiss Altenrhein for Moscow Aeroexpress, has already begun at the Minsk factory. Earlier, four carriages have been welded in Fanipol, and experts have started the painting and final assembly of the first ever double-decker train to be produced in Belarus. Stadler Minsk will be responsible not only for production, but also for all pre-commissioning activities of the new rolling stock.

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The first four trains, which is one vehicle more than previously planned, will be produced in Switzerland, while the remaining 21 will be assembled in Fanipol. Carriages for the first four trains will be delivered to Basel by special trucks, then shipped by container vessel and sent down the Rhine towards Rotterdam and Sassnitz ports. After that, they will be coupled up and taken to Klaipeda by ferry, where they will move on a Russian railway gauge of 1520 mm, which differs from the European one (1435 mm). The commissioning of the new trains will take place at Stadler’s factory in Belarus, after which they will finally be delivered to Russia.

After passing factory acceptance procedures, the new rolling stock will arrive at the experimental rail ring in the town of Shcherbinka near Moscow, where they are to undergo comprehensive testing and authoritative certification. The first train will be put into commercial operation in June 2015, and the last unit of the set – the 25th – is expected to start transporting passengers in June 2016.

Safety was one of the key elements that were paid particular attention to during the development of double-decker trains for Aeroexpress. The new rolling stock is equipped with the BLOK complex locomotive safety devices ensuring traffic safety, including speed limit control, prevention of passing on restrictive aspect, unauthorized passing and train’s rolling back. The comprehensive management system also includes diagnostic subsystems for the technical state of the train and track structure. If any failure or deviation from allowable values is detected, the driver receives a notification thereof and, in the case that the identified problem could lead to a potential violation of traffic safety, the train automatically stops. The trains also feature a passive protection system, which provides controlled impact energy absorption at collision, including special crumple elements located on the head carriages and in couplings. Passengers’ safety is also assured by the video surveillance and fire alarm systems, as well as the audio and visual information systems installed aboard all trains. In case of an emergency, passengers can be evacuated from any carriage, both through the automatic doors and emergency exits on the lower and upper levels, in less than two minutes.

The Stadler Rail Group has become a strategic partner for Aeroexpress after participating and winning an international tender in Moscow in 2013. The parties signed the contract in May last year. The contract includes the supply of 25 double-deck trains, out of which 16 units will be four-car and 9 will be six-car vehicles, with a total of 118 carriages. The new double-decker fleet will allow a 30-40% increase in the transport capacity of Aeroexpress trains.