Cuba will modernize railways with Russian equipment

Cuba’s Union of Railways has signed a five-year agreement with two Russian agencies for the supply of diesel locomotives and equipment for the modernization of railroad services throughout the island.

The pact was signed Friday (June 17) in St. Petersburg, Russia, by Miguel Antonio Acuña Fernández, head of the Cuban railway company; Aleksei Tyupanov, chief executive officer of the Russian Agency for the Insurance of Export Credit and Investment (EXIAR), and Yevgeny Gritsenko, director of the Ekaterinburg-based Sinara Transport Machines company.

Beginning in August, Sinara will supply Cuba with 60 new locomotives model TGM8, 15 locomotives model TGM4 and an undisclosed number of passenger cars. It will also provide for the overhaul in Cuba of 75 old locomotives and help modernize the Ciénaga depot in Havana. Spare parts will be supplied and Cuban personnel will be trained in the use of the new engines.

A TGM4 diesel engine of the type sold to Cuba.
A TGM4 diesel engine of the type sold to Cuba.

Cost of the transaction: 190 million euros, or 214,258,327 U.S. dollars, all of it insured by EXIAR. The Russian Export-Import Bank (Roseximbank) — a subsidiary of EXIAR — will finance the deal.

Overseeing the signing ceremony on Friday were Ricardo Cabrisas Ruíz, vice president of the Cuban Council of Ministers; Denis V. Manturov, Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister; and Sinara CEO Dmitri A. Pumpyansky.

[For background in Progreso Weekly about Cuba’s updating of its railway system, click here.]

PHOTO AT TOP: Exchanging signed copies of the agreement are, from left, Aleksei Tyupanov, Miguel Antonio Acuña, and Yevgeny Gritsenko. Observing are, from left, Ricardo Cabrisas, Denis Manturov, and Dmitri Pumpyansky.