The tendering of train services in the Helsinki region is progressing – HSL published guidelines for the contract package and invitation to tender

June 2021 will mark the beginning of a new era for HSL area train services when the winner of the commuter train tender starts operating commuter train services in the area. HSL has now published the guidelines for the invitation to tender and the contract package. The draft invitation to tender and contract will be sent to the candidates for comments and the final invitation to tender and contract will be published after the round of comments.

HSL’s goal is to provide high-quality, reliable, cost-efficient and safe train services. Furthermore, the aim is to contribute to increasing public transport ridership and the modal share of public transport.

Emphasis on the quality of services

In the tendering of the rail services, HSL places significant emphasis on the quality and reliability of service operation. The tender price is given a weight of 60-70 percent, while quality is given a weight of 30-40 percent.

“Although our aim is also to achieve cost savings, in this tendering process, we have emphasized the quality of service operation from the outset. Efforts to improve quality and reliability are directly reflected in public transport  passenger numbers,” says Tero Anttila, the Director of Public Transport Department at HSL.

The contract includes, for example, quality incentives. The incentive scheme measures punctuality, reliability, customer satisfaction, cleanliness of the rolling stock, the performance of on-board staff, the commercial condition of the rolling stock and the energy consumption of trains. In addition, demand incentives may be paid to the operator if the passenger numbers have increased more than expected.

Tenderers consulted during the preparation process

The invitation to tender and the contract package have been prepared in interaction with the seven candidates admitted to participate in the tender procedure. Two rounds of negotiations were held with the candidates, in autumn 2018 and in spring 2019, and the invitation to tender and the contract package were modified on the basis of the negotiations and written feedback.

The contract is due to be awarded in April 2020 and the winning operator is expected to start operating HSL commuter train services on 27 June 2021. The tendering applies to commuter train services on the Ring Rail Line, on the main line from Helsinki to Kerava and on the coastal line from Helsinki to Siuntio. Other commuter trains are part of regional train services purchased by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Tendered regional train services will begin at a later date.

The following candidates have been admitted to participate in the tender procedure: Arriva Sverige AB, First Rail Holdings, The Go-Ahead Group plc, MTR Nordic AB, SJ AB, Transdev Sverige AB and VR-yhtymä Oy.

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