The roll-in of the first two of ten FLIRTs (Fast Light Innovative Regional Trains) in Minsk has taken place for Belarus State Railways BZD.
Delivery was possible in less than one year from the signing of the contract, due to simultaneous production of a near-identical FLIRT for Helsinki at Stadler’s Bussnang site.
In the margin of the celebration Peter Spuhler, owner and CEO of Stadler Rail Group, and Anatoly Alexandrovich Sivak, Chief Executive of BZD, signed a declaration of intent for the procurement of further vehicles and cooperation in the service sector.
Peter Spuhler spoke in Minsk at the roll-in ceremony:
“I am so proud that our FLIRT will now serve Belarus too. This is the first time that Stadler has supplied vehicles to a country of the former Soviet Union. We discern great potential in the Commonwealth of Independent States, as we have our Helsinki-type FLIRT to offer. This modern broad-gauge train is suitable for temperatures as low as –40 degrees Celsius.”
Stadler is currently working on a broad-gauge order from Estonia for 38 FLIRTs. 656 FLIRTs have already been sold, in 13 different countries.
Technically, the trains for BZD are largely based on the FLIRT for Helsinki. They are being built in two versions: six FLIRTs will serve the conventional commuter railway system of the capital of Belarus, Minsk. These high-capacity trains seat 232.
The other four FLIRTs are destined for inter-regional transport between major cities. Given the longer journey times, these offer more comfortable and elaborate interior fittings. Hence seating capacity is only 188.
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