The Anonymous Widower

‘Super Train’ In Finland Sets New Record: The Equivalent Of 92 Trucks

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on RailFreight.com.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Finnish railway company VR Transpoint has introduced another heavy weight to the railways. Dubbed the Super Train, it carries a weight of 7,000 tonne, and 80 wagons. Moreover, it is about one kilometre long. According to the company, this sets a new record on Finnish railways.

These are a few points about the service.

  • The service runs between Vainikkala and Hamina.
  • The route appears to be electrified.
  • The super train is hauled by two Vectron locomotives.
  • Longer trains are more efficient.
  • Long trains regularly run in Russia.

This map shows the border crossing at Vainikkala.

Note.

  1. The border running South-West and North-East across the map.
  2. The giant Finnish marshalling yard in the North-West.
  3. The large Russian marshalling yard in the South-East.

This Google Map shows the Finnish Marshalling yard at Vainikkala.

I estimate that the yard is over a kilometre in length.

Passenger Trains Between Helsinki And St. Petersburg

There is also a passenger service between Helsinki and St. Petersburg, that uses this route called Allegro, that usually runs thrice daily.

The trains are Alstom Pendolinos, specially designed for the route and are detailed in this section called Vehicles in the Allegro Wikipedia entry.

The journey time is just three and a half hours.

If you want to buy tickets, this page on The Man In Seat 61 gives all the details.

Conclusion

It looks like the Finns and the Russians have co-operated well to create a quality passenger and freight link between their two countries.

April 25, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rail Baltica Concept Trains Inspired By Sun, Sea And Sand

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

The article shows concept images and I suspect that any of Europe’s train makers could make trains like these.

Rail Baltica will have following route and specification.

  • It will eventually run between Helsinki and Warsaw, via Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  • There will be a tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn.
  • It will carry both passengers and freight.
  • Freight trains will have a maximum length of 1050 metres, as opposed to 775 metres in the UK.
  • It will be mainly double-track.
  • It will be a standard gauge track with right-hand running, as all countries in the area use right-hand running.
  • There will be no level crossings.
  • It will have 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • There will be ERTMS signalling.
  • Passenger trains will run at 249 kph (161 mph)
  • It is intended to be completed in mid-2026

The specification is similar to High Speed Two, with these exceptions.

  • High Speed Two is faster at 205 mph.
  • High Speed Two runs on the left.
  • High Speed Two will not carry freight.

Phases 1 and 2a of High Speed Two should complete in 2029-2033, with Phase 2b following in 2035.

The bidders to build High Speed Two’s rolling stock include.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar list of companies tendering to build the trains for Rail Baltica.

  • Stadler, who have factories in Poland may be added to the list.
  • As the trains are being designed at the same time as High Speed Two trains, I wouldn’t be surprised to be similarities.
  • They would also have to be designed for both left and right hand running, if there was any chance of a service between Paris and Helsinki.
  • Although, they will run under 25 KVAC electrification on Rail Baltica,they may need to be able to run on other voltages.

I very much feel that Rail Baltica will be offered a selection of excellent trains.

Where Will The Trains Be Built?

Consider

  • This obviously depends, where winning bidder has factories.
  • But there is also the problem of getting trains between the factory and the Baltic.
  • This could be difficult for factories in Spain, as there would need to be a gauge change.
  • It would be easier, if the route were standard gauge all the way, as it would be from France, Germany, Italy and the UK
  • If a Spanish company got the contract, could it build the trains in the UK, as delivery could be easier.
  • I puzzle, why Talgo are building a factory in Scotland without any UK orders. But it would be easier to deliver trains to Russia and Eastern Europe by sea from Longannet than Spain.

There are a lot of factors that will define where the trains will be built.

 

April 23, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finland – Estonia Tunnel Secures €15bn In Funding

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the International Rail Journal.

This is the first paragraph.

FINEST Bay Area Development has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Touchstone Capital Partners, China, to secure €15bn in financing for construction of a 100km railway tunnel under the Gulf of Finland between Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia.

Linked to the planned Rail Baltica, it will mean that passengers and freight will be able to use railways between the UK and Finland.

March 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finland And Norway To Explore Building Arctic Rail Link

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Reuters web site.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Finland and Norway agreed on Friday to explore constructing an Arctic rail link from northern Finland to the Barents Sea coast to develop trade routes and business opportunities in the region.

The proposed link would run from Finland’s northern city of Rovaniemi to Norway’s ice-free deep-water port of Kirkenes, located some 15 km from the border with Russia.

I didn’t know that ports, that far North could still be ice-free.

It is an interesting concept.

My only worry, is what will Vlad think of it all!

But then the Finns have stood up to the Russians before!

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Finland-Estonia Rail Tunnel Feasibility Study Completed

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in the International Railway Journal.

This is the first two paragraphs.

A feasibility study into the construction of a rail tunnel under the Baltic Sea between the Finnish capital Helsinki and the Estonian capital Tallinn estimates the cost of the project at €13-20bn.

The FinEst Link tunnel would be constructed as two 10m-diameter single bores connected at intervals with an 8m-diameter central service tunnel. The concept includes two artificial islands, and three stations in Helsinki – City Centre, Pasila and Vantaa Airport – and one station at Ülemiste in Tallinn. The tunnel would be standard gauge to connect with the new Rail Baltica high-speed line linking Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The article also goes on to say this about the economics of the tunnel.

While the project has a low cost:benefit ratio of 0.45 due to the high capital cost, its wider economic impact on GDP ranges from €4bn for the low scenario to €6.9bn for the base scenario.

Would the projected cost and economics of the FinEst Tunnel be a rough guide to what would happen if a fixed link were to be built between Scotland and Ireland?

The FinEst Tunnel will be standard gauge to be compatible with Rail Baltica, despite both Finland and Estonia using different railway gauges.

Just like the difference between Great Britain and the island of Ireland.

 

February 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Do I Feel Sorry For President Putin?

You spent all this money on bringing the Winter Olympic Games to Sochi, so you can laud it over the world and especially when your beloved Russia, win the gold medal in your favourite sport; ice hockey.

But then your team gets knocked out in the quarter finals by the Finns.

I think we should all remember that the Russians don’t have a good record against the Finns in the winter.

I used to play real tennis with a Finn.  He was very proud of the part his father had played in halting the Russians.  He still had the white cotton ski suit his father had worn, stuffed with straw for warmth. This sentence from the Wikipedia article describes the Finnish resistance.

 The Finns used effective guerrilla tactics, taking special advantage of superior skiing skills and snow-white layered clothing and executing many surprise ambushes and raids. By the end of December, the Soviets decided to retreat and transfer resources to more critical fronts.

I suspect there was a lot of celebration in Finland after the ice hockey victory.

February 20, 2014 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment