VR FleetCare will maintain the Helsinki region commuter traffic trains until 2031
Finnish railway operator VR Group has won the competitive bidding procedure for commuter train traffic, the first of its kind in Finnish history, and continues to operate the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HRT) commuter train traffic. The contract period is 10 years and the tendered traffic begins operating in June 2021. VR Group’s subsidiary VR FleetCare was included in the tender as the partner in train fleet maintenance.
VR FleetCare will continue to be responsible for the maintenance of the HRT train fleet and the management of its lifecycle. HRT commuter trains travel about seven million kilometres a year and they are used in app. 70 million journeys. The fleet consists of FLIRT city trains that are powered with electric motors. The fleet consists of a total of 81 train units.
“We are very happy with the result of the competitive bidding and the fact that we can continue the maintenance of HRT commuter trains. The win is significant for our business and it proves our competitiveness in our own area in Europe,” says Kimmo Soini, CEO of VR FleetCare. “During the new contract period, we will do our part to ensure a safe and high-quality service for commuter traffic customers. In the call for tenders, HRT emphasised the importance of quality and reliability for train fleet maintenance. We will meet these requirements by utilising data in a new way and developing our service continuously,” Soini says.
Cooperation with a railway industry giant brings a new kind of competence
The development of the train fleet’s maintenance programme and the management of the lifecycle are some of the key content for the new contract period. During the contract period, the co-operation will be utilized in which the service branch of Stadler, the Swiss manufacturer of the FLIRT trains used by HSL, provides material and expert services to VR FleetCare. Together, VR FleetCare and Stadler Service have experience in maintaining more than 600 FLIRT train units.
“Together with our cooperation partner Stadler, we are able to significantly develop the train fleet maintenance programme, to decrease the lifecycle costs and that its value is maintained. With the partnership with Stadler, we will benefit in procurement from the advantages of scale a big group has and we will ensure the even better availability of material. We will also invest in new technology, such as technology related to the condition monitoring of trains and their equipment,” Soini continues.
The maintenance and service work of the HSL commuter trains will be done in the Helsinki depot in Ilmala.