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The French company Alstom developed from its existing family of so called Alstom Prima locomotives this cargo double locomotive for the Azerbaijani railways. It is called Alstom Prima AZ8A or Prima T8. It is designed to withstand the sometimes extremely cold and sometimes extremely hot temperatures seen in Azerbaijan and it has the spectacular power rating of being able to generate 8,8 megawatts of power. Alstom and the Russian locomotive manufacturer Transmashholding set up a joint venture company called EKZ which is now producing these locomotives in Astana, Kazachstan. Only the first locomotives were completely built in France.
Picture from the Alstom factory in Belfort, France 2.10.2012 by Kyösti Isosaari.


Azerbaijan state railways, Azerbaycan Demir Yollan, sent a number of its old Russian TEM2 shunter locomotives to Vilnius, Lithuania for a thorough modernisation. This picture is taken at the locomotive reparation works of Vilnius, where several of the Azerbaijani locomotives were parked, both the already modernised ones (like this one) and the old ones waiting for their refurbishment.
This locomotive type is originally based on the very old US type ALCO RSD-1. It was a road switcher type rated at 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) and rode on three-axle bogies, that is, it had a six axle arrangement. Seventy of the RSD-1s were shipped overseas to the Soviet Union in early 1945 during World War II, as part of the Allied war effort. The Soviets subsequently kept the RSD-1s after the war, adopting the design to form the basis of their own line of diesel locomotives TE1, TEM1 and TEM2. The Soviet-built TE1, initially designed TE1-20, was a reverse engineered copy of the Alco product, adapted to metric system and Soviet norms.
TEM2 is probably the most common Eastern switcher locomotive. Thousands of machines are still in use despite rebuilding and replacing programs being active. This is also a machine just about all startup operators in East can afford. Its power rating is 882 kW and top speed is 100 km/h. One of the most commont nicknames for the type is Tamara.
These Tamaras have now gotten not only a new dress, but also a new heart. Picture in Vilnius 2.4.2017 by Ilkka Siissalo.

(A special thanks to chief editor Juha Riihimäki for some of the facts cited above.)


Another view of the beautifully modernised Azerbaijani TEM2 locomotives in Vilnius, Lithuania 2.4.2017. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.


The Russian private company Aeroexpress, which runs trains between Moscow city and the three Moscow airports Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo, ordered from the Swiss company Stadler new Stadler KISS doubledecker trains. In February 2013 Aeroexpress placed an order of 25 trains. But then due to president Putin's politics the Russian currency started to sink in value and finally Aeroexpress wasn't able to pay for the trains it had ordered. There was a crisis. The Russian state railways RZD sold away their stake in Aeroexpress and Stadler stopped delivering the new KISS trains to them. Later Stadler sold four of the new trains to the Georgian railways and five of the KISS trains to Azerbaijan state railways ADY.

This is one of the five new double decker KISSes of Stadler now in Baku, Azerbaijan. The trains are used on Baku - Sumgayit services and seat 396 passengers. Picture in Baku 16.5.2017 by Juha Mannila.


This is a class ER2 electric multiple unit. They were built in the beginning of the 1960s at RVR in Riga, Latvia and used especially in the Baltic countries, but also in other parts of the that time Soviet Union, especially in the local area traffic around Moscow and St Petersburg. The type was built from 1962 to 1984 in different varieties. A couple of years ago Estonia ordered new western commuter trains from Stadler and other countries such as Lithuania have followed suit, so that many of these old ER2 units have become superfluous and have been sold to the east. Before selling them off Estonian railways and Latvian railways let modernise some of their ER2 stock whereby they received for example totally new front ends with air conditioning (only) for the drivers. This is one of those ER2 trains from either Estonia or Latvia with the modern front. Probably this train is from ex Tallinn, Estonia. Compare with the pictures in this train picture archive in the category Estonia -> Elron / Elektriraudtee. Picture in Baku, Azerbaijan 16.5.2017 by Juha Mannila.


The Baki Funikulyoru funicular train in Baku. It connects a square on Neftchilar Avenue and Martyrs' Lane in Baku and it is the only funicular in the country. Picture by Juha Mannila.
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