34 new Flirt trains for commuter train services


New rolling stock is needed for Helsinki region commuter train services in the coming years to provide customers with the best possible rail service. The Executive Board of HSL authorized HSL to propose to the rolling stock company Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalustoyhtiö Oy the purchase of 34 new trains. The Board of the Junakalustoyhtiö Oy decided to order the trains on Wednesday 10 September. The trains will enter into service by May 2017. New trains will be needed at the latest in 2018 when train services tendered by HSL are launched.

New rolling stock is needed for Helsinki region commuter train services in the coming years to provide customers with the best possible rail service. The Executive Board of HSL authorized HSL to propose to the rolling stock company Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalustoyhtiö Oy the purchase of 34 new trains. The Board of the Junakalustoyhtiö Oy decided to order the trains on Wednesday 10 September. The trains will enter into service by May 2017. New trains will be needed at the latest in 2018 when train services tendered by HSL are launched.

“Getting new trains to Helsinki region provides us with many new possibilities to develop commuter train services. Customer satisfaction with Flirt trains is even now higher than with the old trains.  In the future, we will be able to provide passengers with even more up-to-date information and more reliable services. In a few years’ time, commuter trains will also have a consistent visual image,” says HSL Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi.

The Board of Junakalustoyhtiö Oy decided on 10 September to use the second option included in the purchase contract with Stadler Bussnang AG so that the rolling stock company purchases 34 new Flirt trains from Stadler. By 2017, Junakalustoyhtiö Oy will own in total 75 trains.

The trains will cost about EUR 220 million. HSL leases the trains with a long-term contract from Junakalustoyhtiö Oy.

Earlier, Junakalustoyhtiö Oy has purchased 41 Flirt trains, 38 of which are now in service on commuter train services. The current number of Flirt trains is enough for services on the Ring Rail Line to be launched next summer. Only the new trains meeting the strict safety regulations can be used on the Ring Rail because of its tunnels.   The new trains will gradually replace the old high-floor Sm1 and Sm2 trains. New rolling stock is needed also for the Pisara Rail Link scheduled to be completed in the 2020s.

“The first series of Sm5 trains came to Finland in late 2008. The trains have worked well in our conditions, including the changing and demanding winter conditions," says the CEO of the Junakalusto Oy Yrjö Judström.  

HSL studied two options for purchasing new rolling stock. The other option was to purchase 13 new trains and continue to operate services with 27 renovated Sm2 trains until 2028. More new trains would have been purchased in the early 2020s. On the basis of the study, purchasing more new trains at the same time is reasonable as it is cheaper than purchasing them in two lots. In terms of quality, the reliability and travel comfort of the Flirt trains are clearly superior to those of the old trains.  

The Flirt trains are popular with passengers because they are easy to board due to the low floor and they are roomy and comfortable. The new trains can accommodate 50 per cent more passengers than the old ones and they are more reliable and faster.

Travel comfort is enhanced by air conditioning, accessibility and passenger information displays. The indoor fittings of the trains will be further developed so that the trains will serve Airport passengers as well as possible and the trash cans criticized by passengers will be replaced by smaller ones to allow more legroom.

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