A senior Russian Railways official has approved the technical requirements for a double-decker passenger train that Transmash Holding and France's Alstom are developing for the state-owned railroad company, Transmash Holding said in a statement Thursday.
The trains are expected to run between Moscow and nearby regional capitals, including Tver, Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Ryazan, Tula and Kaluga. They could be also used on routes up to 700 kilometers long, Transmash Holding said.
According to the plans approved by senior vice president Valentin Gapanovich, the trains will consist of 6-12 passenger wagons and have three classes, as well as VIP cabins. Business class passengers will each enjoy a personal entertainment monitor.
The trains will be driven by a locomotive at each end of the train rather than by existing roof-based propulsion systems, freeing-up space for a second deck.
They are expected to be used to transport football fans during the 2018 World Cup.
With a maximum speed of 160 kilometer per hour, the trains will be far slower than the high-speed Sapsan, which currently runs between Moscow, St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod at speeds of up to 240 kilometer per hour.
Production of the double-decker trains is expected to begin in 2014.
Alstom controls 25 percent of Transmash Holding.