Ural Locomotives (based in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia) hosted on July 9, 2015 the signing ceremony of a Memorandum Regarding Manufacture of High-Speed Passenger Rail Cars. The document provides for production by the factory of additional Sapsan High-Speed EMU train cars which will be then integrated into the existing fleet on Russian Railways’ routes.

The Memorandum was signed by President of Siemens Russia and Central Asia Dietrich Möller, Sinara Group CEO Mikhail Khodorovsky, and Ural Locomotives Director General Alexander Saltaev.

“It is very symbolic that this new document is signed on the year of the factory’s anniversary. Over the past five years Ural Locomotives has become synonymous with advanced technology and progress. I am totally confident that today’s Memorandum will serve as the starting point for our collaboration in High-Speed Rail,” said President of Siemens Russia Dietrich Möller.

Chairman of the Sverdlovsk Oblast Government Denis Pasler, who also attended the ceremony, made the point of the EMU train production localization increase: “I think that the shareholders  – who decided on establishing the joint venture – and the factory personnel have altogether accomplished such a daring feat: they have created such a strong and state-of-the-art plant. Naturally, we plan that the Lastochka will start carrying our local residents as early as 2016. Today, we are kicking off the next stage – production of the high-speed passenger rail cars,” said Denis Pasler.

The second event was the start of production for Lastochka Premium – the newest version of ES2G electric multiple-unit train. Pressing a symbolic start button at the launch ceremony were First Vice-President of Russian Railways Alexander Misharin, Senior Vice-President of Russian Railways for Innovation Development Valentin Gapanovich, President of Siemens Russia and Central Asia Dietrich Möller, Sinara Group CEO Mikhail Khodorovsky, and Ural Locomotives Director General Alexander Saltaev.

The new ES2G Lastochka Premium EMU is different in many ways from the existing Lastochka Standard train. Since the new EMU is designed to run between major cities up to 200 km apart, its passenger cabin offers extra comfort on longer journeys. The train offers comfortable seats, power points for charging mobile phones and laptops, wireless Internet access, and toilets in each carriage. The coaches are accessible for passengers with disabilities. Lastochka Premium offers more comfortable work environment for train crews. The key difference of the new EMU is the higher rate of locally manufactured components.

Sinara Group’s Chairman of the Board Dmitry Pumpyanskiy emphasized that crucial to the start of manufacture of the modern rolling stock in the Urals was Russian Railways’ strategic policy: “All of the factory’s production projects – 2ES6 and 2ES10 electric locomotives and Lastochka EMU trains – were under continuous control and supervision of our customer – Russian Railways,” Mr. Pumpyanskiy noted. “Establishment and development of the Ural Locomotives factory was made possible through long-term contracts with RZD. The Lastochka trains order runs through 2023; on top of that we are now discussing locomotive production program for 2016 and 2017. This makes the factory feel more confident about its future, to feel confident that its production capacity will be fully utilized — and also brings new possibilities.”

Also, in commemoration of the plant’s 5th anniversary, a stone was laid at a ceremony to mark the foundation of a future Factory Museum and Exhibition Center which first exhibits were contributed by guests of the ceremony.