Eastern European Markets
March, 14. 2006

VR and Russian railways set up rolling stock company for services between Helsinki and St Petersburg

VR Ltd and the Russian railway company OAO RZD have signed a letter of intent for establishing a joint rolling stock company for high-speed rail services between Helsinki and St Petersburg.

The task of the rolling stock company is to purchase the high-speed trains and maintenance services required for the Helsinki– St Petersburg service. The company will be established by the end of June.

The joint company will arrange international competitive bidding for the rolling stock, aiming to make the decision about who will provide the trains this year.

Achieving faster journey times between Helsinki and St Petersburg requires track renovation on both sides of the border and all customs formalities to be handled on the moving train, in addition to the new rolling stock. These measures should reduce the travel time between Helsinki and St Petersburg to three hours.

In 2005, 267,000 journeys were made by rail between Finland and Russia, an increase of 6% from the previous year.

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