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There's something I've been wondering, and there aren't many places to ask, maybe one of our russian frens can help.
I was in Moscow last year, and rode the commuter train to/from Kievsky terminal. It looked similar to pic related, but I can't be sure if it was the exact same model.
Now, what I noticed that even tho the train looked reasonably modern, when moving it felt more like an older train. And it got me wondering, could it be that these units are simply rebuilt older trains, the classic green ones?
I'm kinda sad I didn't get to ride on the green ones anymore.
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Wow, that question came out of nowhere. So no, they're not refurbished, basically they're just crap. But there's a deeper story to this.
It's less about the trains being crap (you get what you pay for) and more about Central PPK (ЦППК, Moscow's main commuter train operator) being fucking cheapskates. I mean don't get me wrong, they try to improve the service quality, and they did improve it, but they won't allocate any single extra penny unless absolutely forced to, despite making some real money here. If they could get away with not upgrading the rolling stock at all, they totally wouldn't move a finger, but since they can't they go for the very cheapest possible offer. This train, EP2D, is produced locally by Demohovo works, it's not crappy per se, it got all the modern amenities like the WiFi, the aircon, fairly ergonomical interior BUT to save as much cost as possible it is designed utilizing effectively the same old ER2 platform, meaning it's still got the same crappy wonky bogies, and also no modern traction, just basic DC motors just with some top-level electronic control (but no modern traction converters). That explains the wonky way it accelerates/decelerates, and also why on the outside it makes about as much noize as a fucking Ilyushin. I mean why would they (the ЦППК) bother with something more expensive - the passengers SURELY wouldn't notice, right? Right?..
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There are, however, PROPER modern and well designed trains operating in Central PPK fleet, these are Ivolga (EG2Tv) trains, engineered also locally by the Tver works (part of Transmashholding, the same holding owning the DMZ which makes the EP2D), these are very decent examples of how a modern urban-class EMU should look and work, but the only reason the CPPK even bothered to pay for them is because they were assigned a budget on them as part of our massive MCD (Moscow Central Diameters, by the way I totally should tell about them here, some time later perhaps) project of metro-integrated pass-through urban rail lines based partially on the existing railway directions, obviously with a lot of added infrastructure. So now you can see them in limited numbers only on the recently opened D1 and D2 lines of the MCD. But EVEN THERE, with assigned budget, they managed to be fucking cheap asses and order just 6- and 7-car sets instead of proper 11-car sets, AS THEY SHOULD HAVE, that along with some other management fuckups led to them being SO OVERCROWDED on the first day of MCD operation that they just had to urgently couple them into 5+6 sets so the number of trains obviuosly dropped, they had to substitute the Ivolgas with everything they could. At least they weren't full dumb asses and they ordered the additional cars from TVZ to extend the original sets to the true 11-car config this spring.
Even though Ivolgas sometimes can also feel a bit sharp on some worse sections of the track and SOMETIMES (rarely) during accel/decel too but that's due to a bit stiffened suspension to keep them more stable at higher speeds, and the latter can be perhaps attributed to the traction converter's algorithms acting out sometimes. Overall Ivolga still feels are lot more quiet and stable than even the Lastochka trains (another example of a properly modern EMU in Moscow, being this time modified licenced Desiros). The latter you can find operating on the MCC or Moscow Central Circle and some routes of the MTPPK, the company operating trains between Moscow and Tver.
Interesting, thanks a lot for those in-depth explanations!
I'm going to play devils advocate and say that I didn't mind much that these trains were built on a rudimentary platform. They weren't particularly uncomfortable. Just that the acceleration pattern didn't seem like that of a truly modern train. What I rather saw as an issue was the slow speed, but then again I don't know if this is due to the train sets or the top speed permitted on the rail line.
>MCD (Moscow Central Diameters, by the way I totally should tell about them here, some time later perhaps)
Please do, it sounds really interesting.
Moscow commuter lines are a fascinating subject, but not much information can be found on the internet to someone who doesn't speak russian. On the trains themselves there was also a map of all commuter services which I've never been able to find on the internet, if you have something like that I'd be grateful.