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Putin's Armoured Coach: Here's All You Need to Know about Russian Predisent's Personal Train

Putin's Armoured Coach: Here's All You Need to Know about Russian Predisent's Personal Train
photo:'s Armoured Coach: Here's All You Need to Know about Russian Predisent's Personal Train
15 / 02 / 2023

Vladimir Putin is now travelling not by aeroplanes of the presidential detachment but by a special armoured train.

The train was commissioned by the Russian president back in 2014-2015, however, the Russian dictator began to use it regularly in the second half of 2021 when the Russian army began preparing to invade Ukraine. The company that owns the train belonged to Yuriy Kovalchuk's nephew. Kovalchuk is the main shareholder of the Rossiya Bank and a close friend of the Russian president. His structures manage Putin's palace near Gelendzhik.

The use of such a train is dictated by secrecy considerations. The movement of the presidential detachment's aircraft can be tracked by various services. No such services exist for passenger trains. The special train is visually almost indistinguishable from other trains of the Russian railroad. It's the same grey colour with a red stripe.

There are several main differences. Firstly, the presidential cars are armoured. Secondly, the train has the highest priority: the train schedule is adjusted for Putin so that his train can run at maximum speed and without stopping. The special train necessarily includes a car for the president with a bedroom and a study for meetings, a car for accompanying persons, and a car for special communications.

The train can also be distinguished from a regular passenger train because communication radio antennas are visible on the roofs of several cars. The antennas are covered with special covers to hide them from prying eyes.

The existence of the armoured train is no secret. For example, in November 2019, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held a meeting in it, after which Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote about the train. The newspaper noted that the cars were indeed painted grey with the signature red symbols of the Russian railroad, and the train itself was prefabricated, "separately formed for each trip of the top officials of the state." There are only a few secret cars, the rests are ordinary SV and compartment cars. The train is pulled by two TEP70BS diesel locomotives, reports Dossier.

Interestingly, the media found another passenger train with similar special communication antennas on the roof. Externally, it differs from the usual one not only in its antennas but the unusually large number of locomotives: three axles are installed on the bogies, and the cars themselves are six-axle. Such cars are usually used on heavier freight trains, while standard passenger cars are four-axle. Reinforced axles may indicate that the train is armoured. The cars bear the emblem of the Grand Service Express company and the organization's website. This company is associated with Putin's friend Yuri Kovalchuk.

Source: Dossier