OREANDA-NEWS. August 19, 2013. The development of international cooperation on freight and passenger rail transport is one of the tasks facing Russian Railways. Finding the right solutions will improve the competitiveness of rail transport. Russian Railways did much to achieve that goal in the first half of 2013.

In March 2013, an agreement was signed between Russian Railways and Abkhazian Railways on settlement and payment procedures for works and services related to international rail freight.

The Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, and JSC Estonian Railways signed an agreement on mutual support in the development of passenger traffic on international routes, including optimising the use of rolling stock and avoiding unnecessary delays and empty wagon runs.

At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, a memorandum of understanding and cooperation was signed between Russian Railways and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to modernise railway and related infrastructure. The memorandum underlines the intention of the parties to cooperate on developing high-speed transport infrastructure, projects to modernise railway stations and developing transport and logistics activities.

Also signed was a cooperation agreement between Russian Railways and the State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) to implement export and investment projects in foreign countries. In accordance with the agreement, the parties intend to cooperate on the implementation of export and investment projects abroad aimed at supporting national exports of high technology products, services and technologies, and increasing the competitiveness of Russian companies on the global market.

Russian Railways, JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan Railways) and Belarusian Railways signed an agreement to establish a Joint Transport and Logistics Company, which will be engaged in the transportation of containerised goods within the Common Economic Space, including on transit routes between Europe and Asia.

Russian Railways is expanding its presence abroad and in May 2013 opened a representative office in the Republic of Belarus.

Russian Railways pays particular attention to rolling stock. In 2013, the Holding is continuing to collaborate with leading foreign companies as part of this work.

In April, Russian Railways, JSC Sinara Group and Siemens AG signed a trilateral agreement of intent to develop and create main-line four-axle AC and DC electric locomotives, as well as to set up production in the Russian Federation of the main components and systems of the Desiro Rus series of electric locomotives.

An agreement was signed on scientific and technical cooperation to develop, manufacture and test a high-speed platform on built-up bogies between Russian Railways, JSC Tatravagonka and OJSC TransContainer.

During the International Railway Forum Strategic Partnership 1520, four contracts were signed this year worth a total of 10 billion roubles. One of the most important documents was an agreement between Russian Railways, CJSC Transmashholding and Alstom Transport to develop a main-line freight electric locomotive with dual power using the new generation 2ES20 with asynchronous traction motors.

Since the beginning of 2013, Russian Railways has signed a number of documents with foreign railway authorities for the construction and reconstruction of railways, including an updated framework cooperation agreement with Vietnamese Railways and a contract with Serbian Railways for the construction of railway infrastructure and the supply of diesel trains. An agreement was also reached with Libya to establish a joint commission to work out the terms and parameters of cooperation on the construction of the Sirt - Benghazi railway line, which was suspended in February 2011.