Karelian Trains, a joint venture between VR Group, Finland, and Russian
Railways (RZD), has ordered four of the 220km/h dual-voltage emus,
which are being assembled at Alstom's Savigliano site and will be
delivered by the end of the year. Each seven-car train accommodates 352
Various infrastructure improvements have been carried out to support
the introduction of faster services between Finland and Russia. These
include upgrading of the Lahti - Luumäki line, and track doubling on
the section between Luumäki and Vainikkaka, which will be completed
next year.
Journey times will be cut initially from 5h 30min to 3h 30min, and
later to 3 hours. Part of the reduction will be achieved by carrying
out customs checks onboard the train, a procedure which previously
required a 30 minute stop at the border.
From December four return Allegro services will begin operating each
weekday between St Petersburg and Helsinki. Passenger numbers on the
route are expected to triple to around 600,000 by 2015.