The contract, which is due to be finalised early next year, is the first order for broad-gauge Vectron locomotives, and the largest single order for the design to date. The deal includes options for an additional 97 units and maintenance services.

The 6.4MW locomotives will have a maximum speed of 200km/h andwill be used across Finland's 25kV ac electrified network.

The locomotives will be assembled at Siemens' Allach plant in Munich and the first 10 units will be delivered to Finalnd for testing in 2017 before series production commences in 2018. The remainder of the fleet is due to be delivered by 2026.

The Vectrons will replace many of the Sr1 units, 112 of which were supplied by Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant (NVEZ), Russia, between 1972 and 1996. These locomotives still form the backbone of VR Group's electric locomotive fleet, which totals 155 units.

VR Group is currently preparing a tender for new diesel locomotives and is also planning to acquire additional passenger coaches as part of its fleet renewal programme.