VR FleetCare, Finland, has signed a 20-year contract with Russian Railways (RZD) and Karelian Trains to undertake maintenance and lifecycle servicing on the high-speed trains operating between Helsinki and St Petersburg.

The contract will begin in 2022, with maintenance of the four seven-car Alstom-built electric trains to continue to at the Helsinki depot. The contract is divided into 11 and nine year periods.

VR FleetCare will be 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. A customer portal will be built to allow Karelian Trains to monitor the condition and maintenance of the trains in real time.

“We are pleased that the customer trusts us and chose us,” says Mr 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.”

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

“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,” Ms Toni Harju, vice president, Passenger Traffic Trains Maintenance VR FleetCare. “Our cooperation 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, with a 3h 30min journey time.