Oleg Belozerov urges manufacturers to ensure absolute reliability of locomotives
In the past five years, Russian Railways has purchased about 3,000 new locomotives at a cost of over 426 billion roubles, according to Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways.
Belozerov was speaking at a meeting of the Council for Cooperation between the Company and Transport Engineering Enterprises which was held in Moscow.
The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Alexander Morozov, the Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Railway Transport Alexander Ivanov, and the heads of the largest suppliers of railway rolling stock and service companies.
According to Belozerov, the depreciation rate of the Company’s locomotive fleet has decreased from 78% to 59% in the past 10 years due to the systematic purchase of new equipment, which means that on this indicator, Russian Railways is not only not inferior, but also superior to many foreign companies.
"Orders from the Russian Railways’ Holding ensure a stable utilisation of production capacities and enable machine-building enterprises to invest in the creation of new technical solutions," said the head of Russian Railways.
At the same time, said Belozerov, it was important to continue working on improving the quality of the equipment supplied, since the Company’s work and its results depend on its reliability.
With the through capacity of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian Main Lines operating near their limits and their infrastructure undergoing large-scale reconstruction, every locomotive failure becomes critical. New technologies for regulating the intervals between trains, such as movable block sections and virtual coupling technology, further increase the traffic intensity and thus impose additional requirements on the reliability of the locomotive fleet.
Oleg Belozerov urged manufacturers to adhere to the principle of ensuring the absolute reliability of locomotives in operation which was adopted at the Council’s last meeting on 28 July 2020, including through the redundancy of the main units.
The head of Russian Railways also drew attention to the need to reduce the time for the development and production launch of new equipment, in particular the creation of freight locomotive models for Eastern Russia, diesel locomotives operating on alternative fuels, locomotives with hybrid power plants, high-speed passenger and container electric locomotives and new passenger rolling stock.
"It is very important that the serial production of new engines begins as soon as possible and that we reduce the share of imported components," said Oleg Belozerov.
Speaking about the implementation of decisions made at previous Council meetings, Oleg Valinsky, the Deputy Managing Director of Russian Railways and the Head of the Traction Directorate, noted that the Company had switched to the purchase of locomotives only under life cycle contracts.
"The supplied locomotives are accepted for servicing by manufacturers, who similarly build relationships with their suppliers of components," he added.
According to Valinsky, a trusted environment is being created between Russian Railways and service companies to exchange information on the current technical condition of the rolling stock. A preventive diagnostics model for individual locomotive units is being developed and manufacturers are creating regional support centres for new equipment.
Together with manufacturers, the Company has launched work to create environmentally friendly locomotives and increase the level of digitalisation of the rolling stock under development.
Russian Railways has also prepared a balanced medium-term programme for the renewal of the locomotive fleet which takes into account the provision of optimal capacity utilisation at machine-building enterprises and formulated technical and operational requirements for prospective traction rolling stock for the period up to 2030.
The design of a number of new locomotives has already begun in accordance with these requirements. These include the mainline diesel locomotives 2TE35A and 2TE30A for Eastern Russia, with plans to use domestic components in their design, including asynchronous traction motors. Modifications to these locomotives that run on natural gas should also be developed by 2025.
In addition, it is planned to create a hydrogen locomotive on the basis of the 2TE35A diesel locomotive in cooperation with the RUSNANO corporation.
The development of the TEM29 gas-piston locomotive is also nearing completion and the projects for the new 2ES9 AC freight locomotives and 2ES6K DC electric locomotives are being implemented. A contact-accumulator shunting electric locomotive EMKA2 is being created for operation at passenger stations.