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For other uses, see Velaro.
Not to be confused with the cancelled Sokol train project.
EVS1/EVS2 Sapsan
Sapsan en route from Moscow to Saint Petersburg
In service 2009–present
Manufacturer Siemens
Family name Siemens Velaro
Formation 10 cars
Capacity 604
Operator(s) Russian Railways
Line(s) served October Railway
Moscow Railway
Gorky Railway
Train length 250 m (820 ft 2 12 in)
Car length (?)
Width 3.265 m (10 ft 8 12 in)
Height 4.4 m (14 ft 5 14 in)
Floor height 1.36 m (53.5 in)
Platform height 1,100–1,300 mm (43.3–51.2 in)
200–550 mm (7.9–21.7 in) (EVS2 only; delivery in 2015 onward)
Maximum speed 250 km/h (155 mph), upgradeable to 350 km/h (217 mph)
Weight 667 t (656 long tons; 735 short tons)
Traction system asynchronous induction motors
Power output 8,000 kW (11,000 hp)
Tractive effort 328 kN (74,000 lbf) (starting)
296 kN (67,000 lbf)
@ 97 km/h (60 mph) (continuous)
Power supply (?)
Electric system(s) EVS1: 3 kV DC
EVS2 (dual voltage units):
3 kV DC / 25 kV 50 Hz AC
Overhead catenary
Current collection method Pantograph
UIC classification Bo′Bo′+2′2′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′ +2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′
Safety system(s) KLUB-U
Track gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) Russian gauge

The Sapsan (Russian: Сапсан, lit. 'Peregrine Falcon', known as Velaro RUS EVS) is a Russian gauge high speed electric express train. 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[edit]

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

OO gauge model railway featuring the Sapsan train on the Moscow – Saint Petersburg Railway and Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod Railway in the Museum of the Moscow Railway, Moscow.

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, trainsets 5-8) trains entered passenger service at the end of 2009 on the Moscow – St Petersburg route, with the dual-system trains (EVS2, trainsets 1-4) 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 order for an additional 20 trainsets including 8 EVS2 sets[8] was signed in order to facilitate an increased number of services on existing lines and the expansion of new service elsewhere in the system.[9][10] The second-batch EVS1 sets (trainsets 9-20) will be same details as the first-batch EVS1 sets, but the second-batch EVS2 sets (trainsets 21 onward) will have retractable steps to suit for low platforms, unlike the first-batch EVS2 sets.


Since entering service in December 2009, it has been Russian Railways' only profitable passenger service, with an occupancy rate of 84.5%.[11] 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. Since 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. Possible reasons including cancelling of commuter trains, disruption of local transportation in rural areas, and accidents because of poor safety for pedestrians have been suggested.[12] New bridge crossings were built, platforms along the railway were reconstructed and additional track was completed in 2015. New Lastochka commuter trains were introduced on the Moscow-Tver[13] and St.Petersburg-Bologoye routes. Local trains in the rural areas were saved.[14][15]

A group of daredevil teenagers climbing a Sapsan.


Moscow - Saint Petersburg route[edit]

The first and the only(since 2015) route for Sapsan trains.

Moscow (Leningradsky railway terminal) - Tver (770A, 772A, 776A, 756A, 768A, 780A) - Vyshny Volochyok (756A, 760A, 768A, 772A, 780A) - Bologoye (754A, 758A, 770A, 778A) - Uglovka (754A, 776A, 778A) - Okulovka (754A, 758A, 778A) - Chudovo (754A, 770A, 778A) - Saint Petersburg (Moskovsky railway terminal)[16]

There are no Sapsan trains stopping at all stations on the route. The fastest ones do not stop between Moscow and Saint Petersburg at all. Numbers of the trains which stop at intermediate stations are listed above. Such measures were implemented for speed increasing.

Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod route[edit]

Former route of Sapsan trains. Since 2015, new Talgo Strizh train was introduced. All the Sapsans were directed to Moscow - St.Petersburg route. Talgo trains are also high speed but more suitable for this route.[17]

RZD Sapsan route (interactive map)


On July 1, 2012, the Russian Railways company 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A beginner's guide to train travel in Russia". The Man in Seat 61. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  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". Railway Gazette International. 2006-06-06. 
  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 Russian). 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Sapsan reaches Nizhny Novgorod". Railway Gazette International. 2010-08-02. 
  7. ^ "Sapsan claims Russian rail speed record". Railway Gazette International. 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2009-05-10. ,
  8. ^ 8 EVS1 sets delivery in 2014, 4 EVS1 and 8 EVS2 sets delivery in 2015.
  9. ^ "Russian Railways orders eight more Sapsan trains". Railway Gazette International. 20 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Russian Railways orders more high-speed trains from Siemens" (Press release). 19 December 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Yana Makarova; Igor Belogurov; Artem Markin (2010-10-26). "Sapsan train races ahead in profitability for Russian Railways". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  12. ^ Irina Titova (2010-02-02). "Sapsan Train Attacked With Stones, Ice". The St. Petersburg Times. RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  13. ^ Titko, Alisa (1 October 2015). "Скоростные поезда "Ласточки" с 1 октября запустили из Москвы в Тверь". Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Расписание электричек из Окуловки в Бологое" [Schedule of electric trains from Okulovka to Bologoe] (in Russian). Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Расписание электричек из Малой Вишеры в Окуловку" [Schedule of electric trains from Malaya Vishera to Okulovka] (in Russian). Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Расписание рейсов из Москвы в Санкт-Петербург" [Schedule of trips from Moscow to St Petersburg] (in Russian). Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "«Стрижи» заменят «Сапсаны» на маршруте Москва — Нижний Новгород с 1 июня" (in Russian). 24 April 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 

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