My limited understanding of the Milwaukee Road link is that the first 5-year plan (1928) really highlighted weaknesses of the Soviet rail system and at the same time they were going big into hydroelectric projects. They sent a delegation to visit the U.S. and the Milwaukee Road and GE made an impression.That is interesting. I know you mentioned on another thread a long time ago how American railroad culture ended up in Russia to a degree. I wonder which railroads those "consultants" came from. It could be possible they came from the Milwaukee Road.
Recently I learned that in the early 30's war with Japan the capacity of the Trans-Siberian line was 12 trains a day, same as during the 1905 Russo-Japanese War. In 1937 a study showed that they could only get about 436 carloads a day to a hypothetical western front. In 1917 they were delivering 560 carloads a day. Lazar Kaganovich was assigned to take over the transport ministry in 1935. His reputation from his role in the Ukrainian famine preceded him and there were reforms (and removals and/or disappearances of managers). Prior to his posting the job was considered a political dead-end. So through that era they were desperate for new ideas.
GE delivered the first electric locomotives for Russia in 1932. Oddly enough subsequent Soviet-built models of those 40 mph heavy-haul engines were very similar. Italian engines were also tried but they were not as reliable as the GE's.