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VR to run Helsinki commuter trains until 2031

Published : 06 May 2020, 02:20

Updated : 06 May 2020, 09:30

  DF Report

File Photo VR by Soile Laaksonen.

The national railway operator VR Group Ltd has won the first tender floated by the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (Helsingin seudun liikenne – HSL) in its history for its commuter train traffic and will continue to operate it until 2031.

An official press release said the HSL Board of Directors in a meeting on Tuesday made the decision.

The contract period is 10 years and the tendered traffic begins in June 2021. The contract includes HSL commuter traffic operations and rolling stock maintenance. The contract includes a three-year option.

“We are really pleased with the outcome of the tender and that we can continue to operate HSL commuter train traffic and perform rolling stock maintenance,” said VR Group President and CEO Rolf Jansson, adding, “We are committed to further developing the services together with the HSL and to ensuring a more customer-oriented, punctual, and smooth commuter train traffic while increasing the popularity of public transport.” 

The contract covers the HSL’s entire traffic on the Ring Rail Line, the Coastal Railway from Helsinki to Siuntio and the main line all the way to Kerava. HSL commuter trains travel about seven million kilometres a year and they are used in approximately 70 million journeys a year.

Meanwhile, VR FleetCare also won a tender to continue to be responsible for the maintenance of HSL train fleet and the management of its lifecycle. The fleet consists of Stadler FLIRT city trains powered by electric motors. The fleet consists of 81 train units.