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    Russia may penalize Siemens for Sapsan train glitches

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    Russian Railways (RZD) could impose fines on Siemens AG for several technical problems experienced by a high-speed train built by the German engineering giant for Russia.

    Russian Railways (RZD) could impose fines on Siemens AG for several technical problems experienced by a high-speed train built by the German engineering giant for Russia, the RZD chief said.

    RZD signed a deal to buy eight Sapsan high-speed trains from Siemens in 2006, followed by a 30-year maintenance contract in April 2007.

    The train made its first commercial run between Russia's two largest cities in a record time of 3 hours and 45 minutes on December 18 but developed a number of problems, including faulty automatic doors, since then.

    On Monday, the train arrived in St. Petersburg with a 42-minute delay because two capacitors in a second carriage malfunctioned on the way.

    "Our contract stipulates penalties for technical problems caused by the manufacturer's fault, and we will certainly impose such penalties without going to court," Vladimir Yakunin said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

    Sapsan, Russia's first train capable of travelling at a speed of 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph), has 10 cars, of which two are first class and eight are second class, and can carry 604 passengers.

    At present, two Sapsan trains make three runs between Moscow and St. Petersburg daily.

    It takes approximately eight hours for most Russian trains to cover 650 km (about 400 miles) that separate Moscow from Saint Petersburg. Nevsky Express, which had been considered Russia's fastest train, is able to cover the distance in 4 hours and 30 minutes.

     

    MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti)

     

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