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Russia – Railways

Third largest in size, after the United States and China, the Russian railway network expands over 85,200 kilometers, of which 43,300 kilometers are electrified.  The fleet of the rolling stock comprises 11,100 freight locomotives (diesel and electric), 6,100 diesel switching locomotives and 3,100 passenger locomotives (diesel and electric). The number of freight railcars is estimated at 1,218,169 in 2015.  A considerable portion of the rolling stock is outdated and is in need of either decommissioning or renewal.
The majority of the country’s rail infrastructure network and the locomotive fleets are owned by OAO Russian Railways (RZD), a state-owned-enterprise, operating freight and passenger railway services.  Supported and funded by the Russian government, RZD has been pursuing a comprehensive reform process since 2001, to achieve greater efficiency and competitive advantage in the domestic and global markets.
Besides RZD, the Russian railway complex also comprises operations of private rail companies and industrial enterprises that have their own fleets of locomotives and railcars, and their own networks of rail tracks. 
Unit:  USD thousands





2017 (Estimated)

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US

2% (35,591)

3.2% (13,524)

3.2% (13,928)

3.2% (14,249)

Total Market Size





Exchange Rates

$1=55 RUB

$1=65 RUB

$1=66.50 RUB

$1=58 RUB

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Data Sources: 

  • Local production for 2014-2015 - are drawn (and recalculated into USD) from the data provided by the Russian Institute of Natural Monopolies Research (IPEM) under the code 35.20 of the All-Russian Classifier of Economic Activity (OKVED) – “production of railway rolling stock”. 
  • Local production estimates for 2016-2017 – are based upon the forecasted 2.9% average annual growth in the segment of locomotive production, as inferred from the Prognosis of the Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation for 2016 and the planned period of 2017-2018 (released in October 2015 by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development).   
  • Total exports and imports for 2014-2015 (including imports from the U.S.) - are based upon the Global Trade Atlas figures under Chapter 86 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) – “railway or tramway locomotives, rolling stock, track fixtures and fittings, and parts thereof”.]
  • The 2016-2017 estimates for total exports and imports for 2014-2015 (including imports from the U.S.) – are based upon the forecasts made by the RF Ministry of Economic Development referenced above. These forecasts indicate a drop of 3.7% in average annual exports for 2016 and an increase of 2.9% in 2017.  The average annual imports will grow by 3% in 2016 and 3.6% in 2017. standards.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Although the Russian rail market is well-developed and mature, the sheer size of it continues to attract potential suppliers – whether currently present or new-to-market – as the potential for new opportunities makes it well worth the extra effort.  In particular, new and innovative components, featuring unique designs bringing greater efficiency and safety will continue gaining attention and interest, particularly those for which no Russian analogues currently exist.  

The Russian rail industry has a strong preference for technologies that advance the following priorities:

  • Development of existing and introduction of new technology platforms; 
  • Improvement of energy efficiency and introduction of resource-saving technologies; 
  • Creation of modern transport and logistics systems, including high speed and express ones; 
  • Development of intelligent traffic control systems based on modern digital telecommunication and satellite technologies and specialized management information systems; 
  • Radical renewal of rolling stock and infrastructure, bringing them in line with international standards.
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