Kazakhstan to launch locally-made high-speed trains in 2011

January 11. Central Asia Newswire

Kazakhstan to launch locally-made high-speed trains in 2011Kazakhstan aims to put into service its first locally-made high-speed passenger train this year.

National railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) Chief Executive Officer Askar Mamin announced Monday the rail networks of Central Asia’s largest country are being adapted to handle the new locomotives, the Kazakh-based Gazeta news agency reported the same day.

KTZ has implemented a new logistics model that will monitor and manage high-speed passenger service across the whole territory, Mamin told a meeting of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The joint venture, implemented with Spanish firm Talgo, will construct a plant to produce the specially-made railcars with a capacity of 150 units per year.

“The first train assembled at this plant will be put into service this year,” the KTZ chief said.

Passenger and freight rail transport demand is growing. In his presentation Monday, Mamin presented strong profit figures for the firm in 2010. Revenue was up 20 percent last year to $4.1 billion over 2009, he reported, partly on the back of higher passenger and freight volumes.

Talgo said the company plans to tap demand for “high speed and high performance” locomotives in Central Asia, India, China, the Middle East and the United States, according to a report in the railwaygazette.com newsite last November.