VR Fleet Care, the rolling stock maintenance business of Finland’s national operator VR, has been awarded a contract by leasing company Metropolitan Area Rolling Stock (PJO) to renovate the bogies of its Flirt EMU fleet.

Work will be undertaken according to the distance covered in service by the bogies of 81 trains. Overhaul is scheduled be carried out in 2024-30, although the contract also includes a four-year extension option.

The Flirt trains operate on commuter services out of the Finnish capital Helsinki and VR Fleet Care is also responsible for daily operational maintenance of the fleet.

The Flirt bogies will be serviced at VR Fleet Care’s Pieksämäki production unit, which opened in 2021 to offer component services. As well as offering new production lines it has extensive expertise in maintaining different types of bogies.

At the Pieksämäki facility locomotive, EMU and passenger coach bogies are repaired all under the same roof and business director of component services at VR Fleet Care, Mr Anders Karlsson, says that the company has been renovating Flirt train bogies for Estonian train operator Elron for some years. Karlsson adds that bogies are the most significant component of this type of rolling stock in terms of operational safety and lifecycle costs, generally representing around a fifth of these costs.

"The success of the basic renovation of the bogies is of great importance to the goals of PJO and we are satisfied that we have successfully finished the tender,” says PJO CEO, Mr Veli-Pekka Hakatie. “The high quality of component maintenance and reliability of delivery are of the utmost importance to us as the owner of the fleet." 

“The contract is strategically important to us, because as a company we are looking for growth in the future, especially from our component services,” says VR Fleet Care commercial director, Mr Peter Guldbrand. “I also believe that we can meet the fleet owner's goals, where maintaining the value and quality of the components together with the optimisation of lifecycle costs have become the most important factors." 

Rolling stock maintenance is not the only field in which VR Fleet Care has been expanding its offering recently. In September the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) signed an agreement with the company to introduce extensive remote condition monitoring of points on the national network.