HELSINKI City Transport (HKL) entered a sales agreement on January 27 to sell a fleet of 40 24.4m-long Variotram metre-gauge LRVs, which were phased out by HKL in 2018.

The sale was arranged by HKL in cooperation with Bombardier Transportation, under a settlement agreement signed between the two entities in November 2017, which safeguarded HKL’s financial position due to the early departure of the five-car LRVs.  

Although currently unnamed, previous statements by HKL indicate that the buyer of the LRVs is “a European city whose rail network is better suited for Variotram LRVs.” 

The LRVs will be transported to Germany by the autumn, where they will be modified to meet the new operator’s specifications. 

The fleet, which was manufactured between 1998 and 2003, was phased out and mothballed by HKL in late 2018 due to the vehicles’ bodies and bogies being deemed to be insufficient for the city’s needs. Since 2018, the fleet has been stored in HKL’s Koskela depot and at another depot in the town of Hamina. 

“These lessons have been utilised, among other things, in the procurement of Artic trams, which have been available to us since 2013 and will continue to be utilised in our new fleet procurements,” says HKL’s CEO, Mr Ville Lehmuskoski.