Siemens Starts on Major Train Order

German concern Siemens launched the production of 38 of 54 Desiro (Lastochka) electric trains Tuesday for Russian Railways at a plant in Germany.

The order for the shipment was submitted in December 2009. Its value came to 410 million euros ($598 million). The electric trains are being purchased by Russian Railways for transporting passengers for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Fifty-four Lastochka trains will begin operating in 2013.

The final 16 trains, the production of which had been included in the preliminary contract, will be assembled in Russia at the Siemens and Aeroexpress joint venture. Initial localization of production will come to 35 percent but will increase to 80 percent in the future.

The total contract for the 54 trains came to 585.9 million euros. The Lastochka model has been adapted for the Russian market and can operate in temperatures as cold as minus 40 degrees Celsius.

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