ON JANUARY 12 Finnish Railways Ltd announced that it had ordered a further 20 Sr2 electric locos from Adtranz at a cost of FM450m. The last of the initial build of the Lok 2000-derived design was expected to enter service last month, and the new build will follow in 2001-03. The first batch were assembled by Rautaruukki at its Taivalkoski works, which is now being shut down; nevertheless the extra locos will have around 20% Finnish content. The order includes an option for a further six to 12 locos.

The Sr2 order is part of a rolling programme to renew VR’s inter-city fleet. A fortnight earlier the railway ordered a further 50 double-deck IC coaches from Rautaruukki’s Transtech subsidiary for FM500m. Following on from a build of 42 now entering service, the extra 40 seats cars and 10 service vehicles will be delivered between 2000 and 2002.

On January 2 VR-Yhtymae Oy invited further proposals by January 22 for supply of between 16 and 22 lightweight diesel railcars to run branch lines, with an option for 20. In June 1995 VR ordered 16 railcars from GEC Alsthom Transporte of Spain for FM80m, but this contract was cancelled in December 1997 (RG 3.98 p150). VR called further expressions of interest, which it said in March were ’satisfactory’; it hoped to award a contract by the end of 1998, but the new call for proposals suggests that no tender was acceptable.