FINLAND: VR Transpoint has begun regular operation of 7 000 tonne trains carrying Russian transit freight to the port of Hamina. The 1 km long trains with 80 wagons and the capacity of 92 lorries have been branded Mörkö, meaning a giant monster or ogre from fairy tales.
Trains arriving from Russia previously had to be divided at Vainikkala on the border, but double-heading with Siemens Mobility Vectron electric locomotives has enabled VR Transpoint to increase train lengths and thus efficiency.
The start of regular operations of the 7 000 tonne trains follows successful trials which began last year to assess performance under various weather conditions.
‘We now have experience in the operational reliability of such a heavy train in the different conditions of summer, autumn and winter. This is crucial as we are aiming for the maximum hauling capacity of our new electric locomotives’, said VR Transpoint Senior Vice-President Martti Koskinen on April 15. ‘This will positively impact VR Transpoint’s competitiveness, and Finnish transit traffic will also be seen as a more competitive option.’