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Finnish rail firm VR unveils new Swiss-designed commuter trains

The trains, to begin rolling in early 2026, will make it easier to work while on the move. The state rail operator will spend a quarter-billion euros on the new fleet.

Tältä VR:n uusien lähijunien matkustamot näyttäisivät. Video: VR:n havainnekuva
Tältä VR:n uusien lähijunien matkustamot näyttäisivät. Video: VR:n havainnekuva
Yle News

Finnish State Railways VR and the Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail have announced details of 20 new commuter trains that are to be put into service in just over three years. 

VR is preparing for a significant increase in regional train traffic in its rolling stock purchases. The deal includes an option for 50 additional trains to meet the needs of new routes. 

According to VR, the new fleet will enter service in spring 2026. The trains will be introduced on the D, R, T, Z and M lines between Helsinki and Lahti, about 100km to the north. 

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Image: VR:n havainnekuva

The routes include a Helsinki Airport link via Tikkurila. The new trains are similar to those now operating on the airport line, which are produced by the same manufacturer and owned by Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalusto, which procures and leases new rolling stock for traffic in the Helsinki region (HSL) area.

In terms of comfort, VR describes the new trains as somewhere between the current local and long-distance trains, with better opportunities for working onboard. Some groups of seats will offer tables in between. 

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Image: VR:n havainnekuva

For those who prefer to rest rather than sitting face-to-face, for example, there are places where passengers sit facing the back of the row of seats as in current long-distance trains. The trains have low floors, no intermediate doors and wider seats than the seats of Flirt trains now in use in Helsinki area commuter services. 

According to the manufacturer, parts for the new trains will be made in Switzerland, with the assembly to be done in Poland. 

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Image: VR:n havainnekuva

The acquisition also includes options to order 50 more trains, including maintenance for them. The purchase deal, not including future options, is worth approximately 250 million euros. 

According to VR Group CEO Elisa Markula, the additional order options will allow VR to respond to the increasing demand for regional train traffic.

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Image: VR:n havainnekuva

"New routes can be opened in areas where it is either profitable by ticket-sales or where the state and municipalities want to acquire environmentally friendly commuter traffic. It is possible to expand the commuter traffic to areas such as Turku and Oulu as well as the area between Helsinki and Hanko once the electrification of the railway section is completed," Markula said in a statement.

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