FINNISH Railways will increase its range of Pendolino services on October 22, when new tilting EMUs will replace InterCity2 trains on three daily Helsinki - Tampere - Jyväskylä services.

VR is taking delivery of eight more Italian-built Pendolino sets to augment its two locally-built prototypes. The first new trains entered service on the Helsinki - Turku line on September 10, allowing scheduled maintenance of the two earlier sets. The last of the extra sets is to be delivered in spring 2002, and VR will decide later this year which routes they operate.

The trains have been modified to suit the business market, with first class replaced by ’business’ and ’business plus’; accommodation includes a seven-seat meeting room, and at-seat power sockets are fitted. The newer trains have 2+2 seating in second class, rather than the 2+1 of the earlier batch, giving 309 seats rather than 264. The number of seats in the dining car has been increased to 22, and the kitchen has been improved.

  • VR has ordered 16 diesel railbuses from CKD Vagonka for FM160m, with an option for 20. The 120 km/h 63-seat vehicles will replace hauled stock on lightly-used services, and to reduce costs tickets will be sold by the driver. Up to three railbuses will be able to run in multiple. Delivery will start in mid-2005.