The lower deck is fitted out with a 53-seat restaurant, with a cafe-bar and kiosk on the upper deck, which seats 41 passengers plus 12 in a conference compartment. VR says the conference compartment or even the entire upper deck can be reserved for large groups.
VR will receive 24 of the coaches by the end of this year, with the remaining two due for delivery in early 2015. The first coaches will enter service on Helsinki – Oulu InterCity services next month, and they will also be used on services from Helsinki to Rovaniemi, Joensuu, and Kajaani.
The delivery of the new coaches will allow VR to withdraw 37 older catering vehicles of four different types, the oldest of which date back to the 1970s.
VR ordered 15 of the double-deck dining cars in 2010 and exercised an option for 11 additional coaches last year, taking the total investment to €68.5m. Transtech is also supplying 25 double-deck driving cars to VR, which will improve operations at terminal stations, particularly Helsinki, by reducing the need to release locomotives.