SMOOTH RIDE

Kazakhstan 2012 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Stanislav Podavets, General Director of Tulpar Talgo, on modernizing Kazakhstan's railway network and incorporating local manufacturers into the process.

Stanislav Podavets

Kazakhstan aims to modernize its railway infrastructure. What is the role of Tulpar Talgo in achieving this goal?

I believe that Tulpar Talgo will play a key role in this area, and we are already in the early stages of achieving the needs of passenger trains for the national rail network, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. In the future, we will consider the possibility of exporting to the CIS region. This is the first project using such advanced technology in the CIS region. Our vehicles utilize unique technology for the suspension system, which allows the trains to reach maximum speeds while carrying our passengers on curved sections of track in complete comfort.

What are the prospects for Kazakhstan to become a manufacturer of transportation equipment, and how will this help Kazakhstan diversify its economy?

We will gain experience, create new employment offerings, and support local producers, from which we can purchase different parts and materials. The company constantly increases the amount of local content and searches for potential suppliers in the local manufacturing industry. In addition, many European companies seek to form partnerships with us as they continue providing for the Spanish branch of the company, Talgo. The purpose of Tulpar Talgo is to enhance the role of domestic materials producers in the construction of cars, combined with the leadership of our European partners, in order to contribute to a deeper level of integration.

How has Tupar Talgo created a micro-economy around the factory?

When Tulpar Talgo reaches its design capacity for production, approximately 380-400 employees will be working in the factory. Tulpar Talgo participates actively in the national passenger railway industry, encouraging the development of related industries and the manufacturing of components, such as stainless steel cables and wires, glass, electrical equipment, aluminum, air conditioning, audio-video systems, and lighting. We are also prepared to sign contracts for the purchase of electric cables, glass, polymers, and resins.

In which countries do you see the most import capacity?

Our neighbors are the source of greatest potential, as well as Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Representatives of these countries joined opening ceremony of our factory and have expressed an interest in our project. There is a great potential in the CIS area for new supply projects and some neighboring countries have shown great interest in Talgo trains but no concrete projects have been defined yet. Our main objective now is to execute the current orders for KTZ.

How have you adapted the technology Talgo of Spain to Kazakhstan conditions?

Experience has shown that for the first nine years of work in Kazakhstan, the Talgo passenger trains have proven to be reliable, safe, and comfortable. One of the problematic issues was the adaptation of the trains to the extreme weather conditions in this country. However, the solution was found, and our Spanish partner understands all aspects of the project and aims to ensure the safety and maximum comfort levels for passengers, as well as the technical knowledge necessary for local production.

How did Temir Zholy and Talgo merge?

In Kazakhstan there are many example of foreign transportation companies going into joint ventures in the manufacturing and railway areas, such as General Electric and Alstom. These large factories are manufacturing for the various types needs of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. This idea was born a long time ago and the first discussions started in 2006. In 2009 joint works began between the Spanish and Kazakhstani sides. It was decided on in 2010 and a factory was built. The construction was finished in one year.