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The public procurement is planned to be completed by summer 2022 at the latest, with the value of the acquisition expected to be around €35-40m.
The current fleet comprises 80 sleeping cars and 33 car-carrying vehicles. This includes newer double-deck stock and older ‘blue carriages.’ The latter are mainly used in high-season and the order has options that includes their possible replacement.
VR operates night trains from Helsinki and Turku to Rovaniemi, Kemi and Kolari all year round and the new rolling stock will be used on existing routes.
“We have added a lot of trains to the north in recent years and the new equipment will allow us to further develop the offer,” says Mr Topi Simola, VR director of passenger transport.
Night train traffic is entirely bought by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (LVM) from VR and the continuation of this is being negotiated with LVM. Buying the new stock is part of a negotiated, longer purchase agreement and will be finalised after negotiations finish.
“We want to develop night train travel and increase the popularity of climate-friendly train travel, which is ideal for long journeys,” Simola says. “Our goal is to increase the share of the train to up to 10% of all traffic in 2030. Modern rolling stock plays a key role in enabling this development.”
This article first appeared on www.railjournal.com
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