VR FleetCare to sign a 20-year maintenance agreement for Allegro trains

Posted: 13 December 2021 | | No comments yet

VR FleetCare, Russian Railways and Karelian Trains have agreed on a 20-year contract for the maintenance and lifecycle services of high-speed trains operating in Helsinki and St. Petersburg.

VR FleetCare to sign a 20-year maintenance agreement for Allegro trains

Credit: VR Group

Russian Railways (RZD), Karelian Trains and the Finnish rail traffic maintenance company, VR FleetCare, have signed a 20-year agreement on the maintenance and lifecycle services concerning the high-speed trains operating between Helsinki and St. Petersburg starting from 2022. The rolling stock consists of a total of four electric trains with seven wagons manufactured by Alstom. With this agreement, the Allegro trains will continue to be maintained at the Helsinki depot in Finland.

Viktoria Hurri, Managing Director of Karelian Trains, said: “We are absolutely satisfied with the new maintenance agreement concerning the Allegro trains. Our co-operation with the maintainers has been ongoing for more than 10 years and has proven to be reliable, of high quality and worthy of the long-term commitment. We are convinced that the multi-year partnership does not only enable professional maintenance but also makes the trains technically more advanced and more customer-friendly through new alterations. RZD representatives are also pleased with the long-term agreement with a reliable partner.”

“Co-operation with RZD is important for the entire VR Group in both passenger and freight transport,” commented VR FleetCare’s CEO, Kimmo Soini. “We are pleased with the trust we have earned and that the agreement with VR FleetCare will continue also in terms of the maintenance operations. We have decades of experience in the lifecycle services of electric trains and excellent facilities for carrying out the work in Helsinki.”

The agreement signed on 9 December 2021 is divided into two periods, 11 plus nine years, and its value is significant. According to the agreement, VR FleetCare is responsible for the maintenance and lifecycle management of the rolling stock until the end of its service life, including scheduled maintenance and repairs in accordance with the maintenance programme, as well as material management.

The main objective of the agreement is to carry out comprehensive and high-quality rolling stock maintenance and to ensure excellent travel comfort and reliable transport. Customer reporting will also be developed to meet the customer needs. In the future, the customer will be able to monitor the condition and maintenance of trains in real time through a customer portal built for this purpose.

“We are pleased that the customer trusts us and chose us,” said Peter Guldbrand, Vice President, Sales, VR FleetCare. “Our skilled employees know the rolling stock best. By managing the lifecycle until the end of the rolling stock’s planned service life, we can guarantee high quality service to the customer.”

Co-operation between two depots

The Allegro trains have been maintained in cooperation between Helsinki and St. Petersburg depots for more than 10 years.

Toni Harju, Vice President, Passenger Traffic Trains Maintenance at VR FleetCare, explained: “Allegro maintenance is mainly carried out in Finland at the Helsinki depot, but the depot in St. Petersburg is responsible, in addition to operational maintenance, for the maintenance of access control and line radio systems belonging to the Russian railway system. Our co-operation has been excellent and the usability and reliability of the trains have been at an excellent level. This will also be our goal for the next 20 years.”

There are four daily services between Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The journey takes 3.5 hours. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Allegro journeys were at record levels, with growth of more than 15 per cent in 2019. Normally, about half a million people travel by Allegro every year.