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Not to be confused with the cancelled Sokol train project.

Sapsan (Russian Сапсан, "Peregrine Falcon", known as Velaro RUS EVS by Siemens) is a Russian gauge high speed train in Russia. The design is part of the Siemens Velaro family.

The trains started regular service on the Moscow – Saint Petersburg Railway in December 2009[1][2] at a maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) (a new build High-Speed Line would allow for speeds of up to 350 km/h or 217 mph).


  • Construction history 1
  • Operations 2
  • Tickets 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Construction history

On 18 May 2006 Siemens and Russian Railways signed a 276m order for 8 high speed trains[3] with a 30-year service contract worth around €300m.[3]

The trains were ordered to connect Moscow with Saint Petersburg and later Nizhny Novgorod at a speed of up to 250 km/h (155 mph). They are derived from the German ICE 3 train but with bodies widened by 330 mm (13 in) to 3,265 mm (10 ft 8.5 in) to suit Russia's wide loading gauge.[4] Four of the trains ("EVS2") are equipped for both 3 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz AC operation. The total length of each ten-car train is 250 m (820 ft), carrying up to 600 passengers.

Development and construction was carried out by Siemens at Erlangen and Krefeld in Germany. In August 2009 it was announced that the fifth Sapsan had been delivered to Russia, of the eight that were planned.[5]

Four single-voltage ("EVS1", 3 kV DC powered) trains entered passenger service at the end of 2009 on the Moscow - St Petersburg route, with the dual-system trains (EVS2) entering service on the Nizhny Novgorod route on 30 July 2010.[6]

Sapsan set records for the fastest train in Russia on 2 May 2009, travelling at 281 km/h (175 mph)[7] and on 7 May 2009, travelling at 290 km/h (180 mph).

On December 19, 2011, a 600 million euro order for an additional 8 EVS2 sets was signed in order to facilitate an increased number of services on existing lines and the expansion of new service elsewhere in the system.[8][9]


Since entering service in December 2009, it has been Russian Railways' only profitable passenger service, with an occupancy rate of 84.5%.[10] According to the timetable valid from 30 October 2011, the direct train from Moscow to St Petersburg without intermediate stops needs 3:40, the train from Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod 3:55 hours.

Introduction of Sapsan initially provoked cancelling of affordable daytime trains between Moscow and St.Petersburg. By the end of 2012 Moscow - St.Petersburg daytime trains other than Sapsan were running again.

There were a series of stone throwing attacks against Sapsan trains. As possible reasons cancelling of commuter trains, disruption of local transportation in rural areas and accidents because of poor safety for pedestrians were mentioned.[11]

Train surfers climbing on a Sapsan train


On July 1, 2012 the company "Russian Railways" introduced a new tariff system for Sapsan trains which dynamically prices tickets based on two factors:

  • The date of sale of the ticket,
  • Percentage of occupied seats on the train.

The new rates range from 0.8 to 1.2 times the base rate for the day. It is possible to see the final price of a ticket for a specific date during the booking process.

The average cost of a Sapsan train ticket:

Direction Business Class Economy Class
Moscow-Saint-Petersburg 4198 - 6507 rubles (USD 137 - 213) 2323 - 3483 rubles (USD 76 - 114)
Saint-Petersburg - Moscow 4198 - 6507 rubles (USD 137 - 213) 2323 - 3483 rubles (USD 76 - 114)
Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod 3421 - 4647 rubles (USD 112 - 152 ) 1082 - 1623 rubles (USD 36 - 52)
Nizhny Novgorod - Moscow 3421 - 4647 rubles (USD 112 - 152 ) 1082 - 1623 rubles (USD 36 - 52)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Первый "Сапсан" поедет через неделю [First "Sapsan" will go in a week] (in Russian). 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  3. ^ a b "Velaro RUS to St Petersburg".  
  4. ^ Broad-gauge Velaro fleet relaunches Russia's high speed programme. Railway Gazette International November 2006.
  5. ^ "The fifth Sapsan train has been delivered to Russia" (in Русский). 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Sapsan reaches Nizhny Novgorod".  
  7. ^ "Sapsan claims Russian rail speed record".  
  8. ^ "Russian Railways orders eight more Sapsan trains".  
  9. ^
  10. ^ Yana Makarova; Igor Belogurov; Artem Markin (2010-10-26). "Sapsan train races ahead in profitability for Russian Railways".  
  11. ^ Irina Titova (2010-02-02). "Sapsan Train Attacked With Stones, Ice".  

External links

  • Siemens Velaro RUS Sell Sheet
  • Velaro RUS pdf Siemens Page (Archived)
  • Velaro high-speed train for Russia / A. Lipp, John D., R. Mangler, VA Gapanovich, AS Nazarov, ON Nazarov, VP Shilkin / / Railways of the World, 2009, No1, pp.36-50.
  • St. Petersburg - Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod Official web page on Russian Railways
  • The average cost of a train ticket "Sapsan" Web site about Petersburg-Moscow Trains
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