Lastochka ES2G EMU at Kurgan Central Station

 On Monday, April 13, 2015, ES2G-004 Lastochka high-speed EMU manufactured by Verkhnyaya Pyshma-based Ural Locomotives, made a test trip from Yekaterinburg via Chelyabinsk to Kurgan and back to Yekaterinburg.

The trip was arranged by Russian Railways who intended to obtain necessary data for technical and economic capabilities assessment survey of a high-speed rail service in the Ural region.

The test ride was attended by CEOs of Ural Locomotives and the Sverdlovsk and the South Ural Railways who were joined by representatives from the Oblast Governments of Perm, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Kurgan, as well as students of the Ural State University of Railway Transport.

Having departed from the Yekaterinburg-Passajirskiy Station at 05:50 a.m. local time, the ES2G Lastochka arrived at Chelyabinsk as early as 9 a.m. The trip from Chelyabinsk to Kurgan took 2 hours 6 minutes only. On some sections of its route the EMU reached the speed of 150 km/h against its top speed of 160 km/h.

 According to the Sverdlovsk Railway CEO Mr. Aleksei Mironov, the possible use of Ural-built Lastochkas on the regional rail network is being studied both from the infrastructure capability standpoint and in the context of prospective passenger traffic and investment needed. Possibility is being examined of placing some of regional routes – including Yekaterinburg – Nizhny Tagil, Yekaterinburg –  Kamensk-Uralsky – Kurgan, Chelyabinsk – Kurgan, Yekaterinburg – Tyumen, and Yekaterinburg – Perm – with the Daytime Express Program.

This was Lastochka’s first trip to the Chelyabinsk and Kurgan Oblasts where it was relatively unknown until that day.

Following the test trip, the train performance and ride comfort were praised by Deputy Governor of the Kurgan Oblast — Director of the Department of Industry, Transport, Communications and Energy Mr. Aleksei Tatarenko and Kurgan City Executive Mr. Sergei Rudenko.

South Ural Railway CEO Viktor Popov shared his impressions of the trip, “I think the passengers will appreciate this new type of transport. It is important to note that this train is manufactured in Russia. The future belongs to such trains. It complies – both inside and out – with international requirements. This means a safe and comfortable ride in every type of weather!»

During the test ride, the focus was on a number of aspects: Lastochka’s capabilities on specific sections of the route, the service along the so-called Triangle (Yekaterinburg – Chelyabinsk – Kurgan – Yekaterinburg) and the all-new rolling stock maintenance set-up.

 Ural Locomotives Director General Mr. Alexander Saltaev noted, “Our Lastochka EMU has completed all necessary tests, including winter test rides along the particularly difficult sections of Sverdlovsk Railway. Today, we proved that you may as well travel between regions – in comfort and speed – in our state-of-the-art EMU. Obviously, Lastochka showcasing its maximum-performance capabilities is subject to investment in modernization of existing facilities and infrastructure.”