MerMec is to supply and operate a Roger 800 test car developed specifically for Finland's 1 524 mm gauge network.

FINLAND: Transport agency Liikennevirasto has awarded MerMec a 10-year contract to undertake the inspection and monitoring of its 5 960 km national rail network, with an optional five-year extension.

MerMec is to supply and operate a self-contained Roger 800 test car developed specifically for the 1 524 mm gauge network; this is expected to begin running in January 2019. The 22·5 m long steel-bodied electro-diesel vehicle will be designed for operation at up to 160 km/h. It will monitor the track geometry, rail profile, corrugation and internal flaws, turnouts, ride quality, overhead line geometry and contact wire wear.

MerMec will be responsible for undertaking the measurement campaigns, processing the data and providing the necessary information to Liikennevirasto about the condition of the infrastructure.

The contract was signed on May 23, following a competitive tendering process, and comes into force next year. MerMec Marketing Director Pietro Stama told Railway Gazette it was ‘quite a tough tender’, with ‘a lot of technical specifications’ to meet all the requirements set out by the infrastructure manager.

The Italian company plans to set up its own office in Finland to manage the work, bringing in its own technical staff and recruiting local employees with knowledge of the Finnish network. The contract will also require close co-operation with Liikennevirasto to agree the daily work patterns and obtain the necessary paths. Stama says the frequency of inspections will be determined with the infrastructure manager to reflect the density of operations and traffic mix on each route.