The Anonymous Widower

Wabtec Signs $600M MoU With Kazakhstan Railway Company

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Seeking Alpha.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Wabtec announced Tuesday signing of a $600M memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy for 150 FLXdriveTM battery-electric shunters and modernization work to transform the mainline fleet into NextFuelTM liquid natural gas-powered (LNG) locomotives.


  1. It is for 150 shunting locomotives, which is not a small number.
  2. A lot of the work will be done in Kazakhstan.
  3. Wabtec certainly seem to be getting their FLXdrive technology about.
  4. Obviously LNG locomotives must be a good route to reduce carbon emissions for diesel locomotives.
  5. The Kazahks seem pleased with the deal for economic and decarbonisation reasons.

But what surprises me about this deal, is that it has not gone to Russia. Does this say something about Putin’s lack of friends.

September 22, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , ,


  1. re Russia, I would have thought it was more that Russia has little to offer. There was quite a bit of comment on Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Kazakhstan – see, for example, which says “Russian weakness is best evidenced by its decreasing grip over elite and decision-making politics across the five Central Asian republics.”

    Comment by Peter Robins | September 22, 2022 | Reply

  2. You have to understand the history of Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) and the building of rolling stock in the country. Until the early Noughties Kazakhstan had no domestic vehicle building industry having previously relied on Soviet Union/Russia.
    It set up a factory in Astana, or Nur-Sultan as it’s now known in which Russia’s Transmasholdings and RTZ held a 50/50 split. Subsequently the Kazak state opted to concentrate on KTZ running the railways and sold their share to GE Transportation. As you know GE sold the loco business to Wabtec, so it’s no surprise that Wabtec have agreed this MOU, especially when they had some earlier business involving the supply of traction motors from Skoda Transportation.
    What about Transmasholdings? Well they won a contract to supply locos to KTZ last year, so they’re currently engaged in business there. Transmasholdings are to some extent subject to sanctions and Alstom as an 25% investor in the business have withdrawn to the extent that they will not provide further material support to the business.
    Likewise Ural Locomotives also won a contract to supply locomotives. Ural Locomotives are a joint venture between the Russian Sinara Group and Siemens and they too have seen their business activities curtailed due to Siemens withdrawal.

    Comment by fammorris | September 22, 2022 | Reply

    • It looks to me, that Wabtec are crying all the way to the bank! Especially, as they’ll get a foothold in the Stans with a nice Russian gauge shunter.

      Comment by AnonW | September 22, 2022 | Reply

      • Well Wabtec are in the right place to benefit from the focus on rail freight that has arisen as a result of Putin’s War. The Trans-Caspian East-West-Middle Corridor for freight from China to Europe will eventually offer a viable alternative to the Trans Siberian option

        Comment by fammorris | September 23, 2022

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