Finnish freight logistics company VR Transpoint has introduced a new 7,000 ton freight train named Mörkö.
The freight train weighs the same as 92 fully loaded lorries. The train is comprised of 80 wagons and measures roughly 1km in length. It is hauled by two Siemens Vectron locomotives and runs between Vainikkala and Hamina.
“Since last summer, we have tested several 7,000-tonne trains. We now have experience in the operational reliability of such a heavy train in the different conditions of summer, autumn and winter. This is crucial as we are aiming for the maximum hauling capacity of our new electric locomotive.”
The previous Finnish record for train tonnage was set in spring 2020, when a train weighing 6,000 tons was operated on the same route. That train comprised 66 wagons. VR Transpoint says that the most important factor when increasing train size is not record breaking but cutting down on energy consumption and emissions.
It is thanks to the hauling capacity of its Siemens Vectron electric locomotives that VR Transpoint has been able to increase the size of its freight trains. This has also led to an increase in the overall amount of freight transported by rail in the country. Neighbouring Russia already operates very long freight trains. Up until recently, these trains had to be divided into several smaller units in Vainikkala, which sits on the Finnish-Russian border. Both electrification and increased axle loads have been important in increasing the train tonnage. VR Transpoint said that if it wanted to operate bigger train sizes in the future, the load capacity of the railway infrastructure would also have to be increased.
“It would be considerably more efficient if we could drive the trains coming from Russia as they are to the harbour. In addition to larger transports, this will positively impact VR Transpoint’s competitiveness, and Finnish transit traffic will also be seen as a more competitive option.”
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