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A view from the main station of Batumi, Georgia. The train on the left is an old ER2 or ER1 built by RVR in Riga, Latvia during communist times, but it has received a completely new driver's cab. The train on the right is a Stadler KISS GRS "Eurasia", built by the Swiss company Stadler Rail. Stadler produced a series of these trains for the purpose of running between Moscow city and airport in Russia as "Aeroexpress". It is a slightly modified version of Stadler's double decker KISS regional train. But the private company Aeroexpress ran out of money and could not pay all the trains it had ordered, so some of them were sold to Azerbaijan Railways and Georgian Railways.
Picture from Batumi 19.6.2017 by Timo Varshukov.


Not all the trains in Georgia are in a perfect shape. This ER2 was built in the 1960s and it looks like it hasn't been renovated ever since. Picture from Tbilisi 11.2.2009 by Johan Ehnberg.


Express train from Tbilisi to the city of Kutaissi in 2019 equalled to just one coach, which was taken along on a train going somewhere else and then left for something like an hour to stand all by itself alone at the small station of Rioni, less than 10 km away from Kutaissi. Then after about an hour of waiting a huge double locomotive of the class VL11 (Vladimir Lenin 11) came to fetch it and take it to Kutaissi. The area was still known to have guerrilla activity opposing the army.
This is the VL11 coming to fetch the one coach "express train". The locomotive class VL11 is a rarity even in the former Soviet Union. It's a further developement of the VL10. It was built from 1975 onwards but not at the usual building factories, but instead at Tbilisi electric locomotive builder plant (Тбилисский электровозостроительный завод). It's a double locomotive, but also three unit versions exist, the third unit then without driver's cabs. It's built for 3 kV DC only, has a max speed of 100 km/h and a modest power output of only 4600 kW (continuous), not much for a big double locomotive. They have been in use in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Ukraine started rebuilding and modernising its VL11 fleet before the war, but the current situation is unknown.
Picture from Rioni Georgia 13.5.2019 by Adrian Gray.


Here the huge VL11 double locomotive has finally brought its one and only coach to the station of Kutaissi.
Picture from Kutaissi Georgia 13.5.2019 by Adrian Gray.


The station of Kutaissi. Train from Tbilisi has just arrived a moment ago.
Picture from Kutaissi Georgia 13.5.2019 by Adrian Gray.


A view from the station of Kutaissi. Look at the old locomotive close by on the right hand side. It's a VL22 (Vladimir Lenin 22) built in the 1930s. It doesn't even have any windscreen panes left, yet it still seemed to be the machine which is doing the shunting duties at Kutaissi. According to somebody who knows the local environment, these machines were only "very recently" taken out of daily use. These machines used to be hauling long express trains as recently as 2006-07. But not in as desolate condition as this one.
The mostly white local trains are partly modernised ER2 trains built in Riga, Latvia during the Soviet years. They have just received totally new driver's cabs. According to the latest rumours in 2022 there's just one local train service left from Kutaissi with one ER2 train going to a fairly close by village and coming back. This happens twice a day.
The green locomotive to the left at the back of the picture is yet another VL11 double locomotive.
Picture from Kutaissi Georgia 13.5.2019 by Adrian Gray.


Another view from the station of Kutaissi. This shows better the Soviet style ER2 local trains which have received new front ends.
Picture from Kutaissi Georgia 13.5.2019 by Adrian Gray.


A closer look at one of the partly modernised ER2 trains of Georgia. Officially this belongs now to the class ER2M where the M stands for modernised. But the modernisation differs a lot from train to train. This one has received totally new driver's cabs, which however look a bit "homemade". It has also received new plating on its sides since it is now partly missing the typical riffled structure typical of ER trains. And an ER2 usually always consists of at least four to six coaches, sometimes more than ten. And now this one has just two.
Picture from Rioni Georgia 13.5.2019 by Adrian Gray.


A VL10 double locomotive of the Georgian Railways. The VL10 is a close relative of the VL11 shown above. It was also built by the Tbilisi Electric Locomotive Works, but not only there but also at the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant. From Novocherkassk these were much, much more common all over the former Soviet Union than the VL 11 built only in Tbilisi. This model VL10 was built in 2881 copies and used in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Like the VL11, it was designed only for 3 kV DC. It was built 1961 to 2005 (sic!!!) more or less unchanged. Novocherkassk built it from 1961 to 1976 and the Tbilisi factory stopped producing them only at 2005.
Picture from Rioni Georgia 13.5.2019 by Adrian Gray.
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