Under the Railway Structural Reform Programme, sanctioned by Governmental Decree of 18 May 2001, Russian state rail operator RZD has been creating subsidiaries responsible for different activity areas. The three to emerge covered freight traffic, Transkontainer and Pervaya Gruzovaya Kompaniya (PGK, Freight One), with Vtoraya Gruzovaya Kompaniya (VGK, Freight Two) being established more recently, in 2010. Passenger services were then addressed, with the creation of the Federalnaya Passazhirskaya Kompaniya (FPK, Federal Passenger Company), responsible for long distance services, and the Prigorodnaya Passazhirskaya Kompaniya (PPK, Suburban Passenger Company).
If the level of service subsidisation falls substantially, the future for the Russian suburban trains will not be bright... ER2T-7132, seen here at Belorussky vokzal in Moskva on 15 September 2007, is typical of the sort of EMU used on suburban and local services. This photo also shows another problem endemic on Russian suburban trains - fare dodgers. The group of youths in the centre foreground had just entered the station avoiding the ticket barriers, crossed the tracks and scrambled onto the island platform.
Photo: Tomáš Kuchta