DURING NOVEMBER, Finnish Railways will put into traffic its 10 new low-floor Sm4 EMUs on commuter services in the Helsinki region. Following demonstration runs on other routes, the air-conditioned sets will be assigned to the I and P services between Helsinki and Hiekkaharju.

The 10 sets were ordered from Fiat Ferroviaria in 1996 for FM300m, with an option for up to 40 more sets included in the contract. Mechanical work and final assembly was subcontracted to CAF of Spain. The first unit was delivered in the spring (RG 5.99 p266) for type-approval. Commissioning trials on the Helsinki - Turku line and in Ostrobothnia were completed in mid-July, but two weeks of winter testing must await the arrival of colder weather.

The two-car units each have 2+3 seating, with 184 fixed and 8 folding seats plus space for around 100 standing passengers. The doorways are wider than those on VR’s existing Sm1 and Sm2 sets, which should speed up boarding and alighting at stations. At 580mm above rail, the low-floor centre sections of each car are level with the raised platforms that have been built at all stations on the route, permitting easy access for mobility impaired passengers and those with wheelchairs, prams or bicycles. The end sections of each car have a higher floor to clear the bogies, reached by steps up from the vestibules.

A disabled-accessible lavatory is provided, together with accommodation for one wheelchair in each low-floor saloon. There is space for a pram in each of the four vestibules, and racks for three bicycles per vehicle. GPS-driven passenger information displays will show the next station, and indicate the location of the on-train ticket sales area. Ticket cancellers in the entrances are designed to accept smart cards. Video cameras have been installed to increase on-train security.

Lightweight bodyshells assembled from aluminium extrusions and regenerative braking will cut energy consumption by around 25%. A top speed of 160 km/h will permit the units to run on outer-suburban diagrams in the future, including Helsinki - Riihimäki - Tampere.

VR’s Sm4s in detail

Two-car unit

Length over couplers mm 54370

Maximum body width mm 3200

Roof height above rail mm 4400

Floor height above rail mm 580 / 1210

Tare weight in running order tonnes 114

Continuous rating kW 1200

Maximum acceleration m/s2 1·0

Top speed km/h 160

Seats fixed 184

folding 8

Standing spaces 100

Sm4 suppliers

Reader Enquiry Number

Main contractor Fiat Ferroviaria 121

Electric traction drives Parizzi 122

Bogies Fiat-SIG 123

Design and assembly CAF 124

Air-conditioning Stone 125

Toilet modules Temoinsa 126

Internal doors Faiveley 127

External doors IFE 128

Gangways Hübner 129

Passenger Information Instrumentointi Oy 130

Seats Riihimäen Metallikaluste Oy 131

CCTV security Securitas Tekniikka Oy 132