Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rail Freight Service Powers Through the Urals as Russians Reveal Q3 Figures

Russian Railways Invests in New Electric Locomotives After Slump in Profits
Shipping News Feature

RUSSIA – Russian Railways (RzD) yesterday published its financial results for the first nine months of the year, a turbulent time for the state owned carrier which has been shedding some of its older freight assets recently. At the same time however it announced the latest details on its commitment to modernise and improve services with the result of its recent tests on the experimental ES10 ‘Granit’ electric train.

Firstly the financial details, *RAS net profits dropped 19.5% against last year totalling €1.34 billion despite an increase in cargo levels between January and September by 3% to over 920 million tonnes. Freight income was up 6.9% but the incorporation of FPK and the disbursement of services to commuter subsidiaries led to a slump in passenger carriage of around 85%.Support from Federal funds to Q3 topped €1 billion including a contribution of registered capital for the construction of Olympic facilities.

Meanwhile RzD has released details of the successful trial of a freight train weighing 6,300 tonnes, which was equipped with a Granit (“granite” in English) electric locomotive through the Ural Mountains. The train is equipped with a laboratory car, which will determine the viability of freight trains totalling up to this weight and propelled by standardized two-section 2ES10 electric locomotives operating in the area. Previously only three-section electric VL11 locomotives, weighing an average of 6,300 tonnes, have operated there.

The train left Chelyabinsk’s Main Station on the South-Ural Railway on 14th November and was able to successfully traverse a difficult mountain pass, arriving in Kinel (on the Kuibyshev Railway) the following day. On 16th November, the Granit locomotive pulled another train of the same weight in the opposite direction, and is expected to arrive in Chelyabinsk this evening.

The ES10 electric train was created by Ural Locomotives - a joint venture between Sinara Group and the German company Siemens, in accordance with the technical requirements of Russian Railways. Continuous operation of the 2ES10 began on 10th October and the first month has shown that the specific power consumption used by the Granit is 15% lower than that used by another electric locomotive, the 2ES6 Sinara, and 20% less than in the VL11.

The use of the Granit allows for heavy trains to traverse the Urals without the trains being separated in order to facilitate transit. Previously this was completed through the use of less powerful locomotives in the pass, a route which is particularly important for transit trains weighing up to 7,000 tonnes.

The new 2ES10 freight locomotive series is unique - not only in Russia but across the whole 1520mm wide-gauge network. This model features increased power and pulling force. With the standard weight parameters, the machine is capable of driving a train that weighs about 40-50% more than a series of VL11 electric locomotives.

Engines built by Ural Locomotives consist of a 2ES10 electric base platform; this is an integrated modern unit which was produced by Siemens. For the technically minded the unit contains auxiliary transformers, a choke input filter, a cooling unit, a traction converter, a traction motor and an integrated reduction drive.

In 2011, Russian Railways plans to buy 11 2ES10 locomotives. The deal will be completed in accordance with the terms of the Ural Locomotives agreement from 2011 to 2016, according to which, Russian Railways intends to buy 221 locomotives of this type within five years.

* Russian Accounting Standard calculation.