"The future belongs to innovative railway technology" says Vadim Morozov
The International Conference "Railway Engineering. Prospects, Technologies, Priorities" opened on 2 September 2015 at the V International Railway Salon EXPO 1520 in Moscow.
Taking part are management from OJSC Russian Railways and machine building and construction companies, as well as relevant government bodies and international organisations, academics and expert transport engineers.
According to Vadim Morozov, First Vice President of Russian Railways, over the years, the Company Railways has invested over 3.4 trillion roubles (in prices of the corresponding years) in renewing fixed assets and has created a strong demand for transport engineering products.
Speaking at the plenary session, Vadim Morozov noted that the Company was a reliable partner to Russia's domestic industry and stimulates technical and technological innovations.
"Russian Railways is one of the largest investors in several sectors of the economy and accounts for more than 1.5% of Russia's GDP, more than 3% of the country's investment in fixed assets and more than 1% of tax revenues for budgets at all levels. This exceeds the total level of government support which the Company receives," he said.
Between 2004-2014, Russian Railways supplied more than 4,300 modern locomotives, developed and launched the serial production of a range of new locomotives, as well as the main types of auxiliary equipment. More than 200 Russian industrial enterprises and research and design organisations have been involved in producing materials, systems and components.
"The main challenge facing OJSC Russian Railways is to acquire the required number of locomotives with regard to the volume of work and developing our traction to optimal maturity parameters. Locomotive design and construction should be based on the use of innovative solutions that reduce the costs of energy and diesel fuel by at least 10%, increase traction properties by at least 10-15%, the indicator for technical readiness by no less than 0.96 and a significant reduction in maintenance and repair costs," said Vadim Morozov.
The reform of Russia's railway transport has significantly changed the situation on the market of operating freight cars and orders for such products.
According to Morozov, since 2004, by creating special tariff conditions and increasing the number of private owners, the production of freight cars in Russia has been characterised by a veritable avalanche of increased purchases. The increased demand for freight cars of up to 80,000 per annum led to an oversupply of the fleet estimated at 250,000 cars on the railway network by the end of 2012.
"Even with the reduction of the fleet which we have observed this year, the surplus of wagons continues to have a negative impact on the operational situation on the rail network. It is nullifying the effect of the measures taken by Russian Railways to improve the efficiency of the transportation process," said Morozov.
According to Morozov, the future lies with innovative cars featuring improved technical and operational characteristics.
A system to stimulate the purchases of such wagons is already in place. This system provides for the provision of federal subsidies to compensate the loss of income incurred by Russian leasing companies by granting discounts on the purchase of innovative wagons with higher axle loads.
A number of tariff schemes for transporting freight cargo in some of the new freight car models has also been introduced.