Domestic rail travel in Finland grew considerably in spring 2016 after prices were reduced and routes were made faster. This year, the number of journeys has already increased by almost 10% and more than 20% on many of the main routes.
Finnish rail operator, VR, is responding to this increase in demand by ordering 20 new double-deck trains from Transtech, a subsidiary of Škoda Transportation Group.
The new cars will enter service during 2019 and will be directed specifically to the most popular long-distance services. The order placed by VR is worth over €50 million.
The acquisition continues VR’s renewal programme for long-distance traffic, which started in 1997 and has seen a total investment of about €640 million in double-deck rolling stock. A total of 1,700 additional seats were last obtained in rail traffic this summer with the introduction of the IC steering cars. It is now possible to operate commercial routes at the speed on 200km/h when the condition of the rail network allows it. Uniform rolling stock can be used efficiently in the entire rail network.
In addition to this order, to increase passenger comfort, VR is currently carrying out renewal of the interiors and the concepts of restaurant and Extra Class cars. A total of 219 IC cars and 17 Pendolinos operating 159 daily services are used in the fast domestic long-distance traffic.
Maisa Romanainen, Senior Vice President of Passenger Services at VR, said:
We make growth in rail traffic possible also in the future by investing significantly in additional capacity. The current rail infrastructure does not make it possible to increase the number of services during peak hours, but we can still increase the capacity of the existing trains.
Original article © VR Group.
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