New electric locomotives for old Kazakhstan fleet

Rail freight carrier Silkway Transit LLP from Kazakhstan renews its locomotive fleet with 22 new electric Russian locomotives. The first three 2ES7 ‘Black Granite’ locomotives manufactured by the Ural Locomotive plant in Russia have already been delivered to the company that expects to receive the remaining 19 in the near future.

Kazakhstan’s Silkway Transit is the first private rail freight carrier to enter the country’s market. It currently owns a locomotive fleet counting 50 units and covers transport routes all over the country. The new 2ES7 ‘Black Granite’ locomotives constitute a state of the art equipment providing high traction force that allows driving heavier trains.

“It is important that the most modern equipment that is on the market today comes to Kazakhstan. These locomotives will increase cargo transportation volume, reduce electricity consumption for train traction, and improve traffic safety”, stressed Daniyar Abulgazin, member of the presidium of the NCE RK ‘Atameken’.

Kazakh locomotive fleet depreciated

It is very important that Kazakhstan’s only private carrier invests in its fleet. That is so because currently, the Kazakh locomotive fleet reaches depreciation rates of 75 per cent, reports the Association of Kazakhstan Freight Rail Carriers. In simple words, this means that locomotives used in the country are already very old and overused. Specifically, most locomotives exceed 25 years of operations, while electric locomotives less than ten years old comprise only 20 per cent of the country’s fleet.

“Considering that the main part of Kazakhstan’s locomotive fleet is represented by worn-out equipment, its renewal is a fundamental factor in developing the railway industry. Today we are witnessing the rapid development of the freight transportation market. The quality and safety of the services provided come to the fore,” underlined Abulgazin. However, non of this would be a reality without governmental assistance. In this sense, the fact that Kazakhstan’s government progresses with the rail freight market’s liberalisation results in opening up the gates for third-party investments and equipment.