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Aeroexpress to Buy Double-Decker Trains From Swiss Manufacturer

Aeroexpress announced Tuesday that it chose Swiss manufacturer Stadler to supply up to 172 double-decker electric train cars to operate on its rail routes connecting Moscow?€™s main train stations with the city?€™s airports. stadlerrail.com

Aeroexpress announced Tuesday that it chose Swiss manufacturer Stadler as the supplier of double-decker electric trains to operate on its rail routes connecting Moscow's main train stations with the city's airports.

Aeroexpress will sign a contract with Stadler to supply a total of 172 rail cars: 112 under the main contract and 60 under two optional agreements, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Stadler beat France's Alstom and Czech Skoda in the final round of the tender, held by Aeroexpress.

The first double-decker trains will start taking Moscow passengers to the Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo airports in 2015.

Aeroexpress plans to complete the renewal of its fleet with new trains by the end of 2016, the firm said in a statement posted on its website Tuesday.

Nadezhda Dorzhiyeva, an official spokeswoman for Aeroexpress, said the schedule and the running time for the trains would stay unchanged, but passenger capacity would increase 30 to 40 percent.

The tender, for 150 passenger cars, was first announced in May 2012. The amount of the contract was said to be up to 25 billion rubles ($830 million), but Dorzhiyeva said the final amount would vary depending on financing options.

She assured that the purchase of the new trains would not lead to higher fares.

Dorzhiyeva cited a growing market demand as one of the reasons for the tender, noting that last year 14.9 million people used a train to get to an airport, constituting 23.37 percent of all passengers in the Moscow hub.

By 2015, Aeroexpress expects to carry 21.1 million people, or 26.6 percent of all passengers.

Dorzhiyeva could not give a specific payback period for the investment, but suggested that it would not be long. Industry experts put it at seven to 10 years, Vedomosti said.

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