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Allegro High Speed Service of Karelian trains

The Karelian trains, as subsidiary of the RzD (the Russian Railways) and VR-Yhtyma of Finland, introduced its first service and a new class of travelling for the border traffic between the larger cities in Finland and Russia. The company now has 4 new improved Pendolinos called "Allegros" for 4 daily round trips between Helsinki Finland and St Petersburg Russia. The travelling times have been pushed down from 6 hours to 3,5 and later to 3 hours by building new high speed track, use of Pendolino high speed trains and passport and Visa inspections en route instead of stopping in the border.

The Karelian Trains * Arrival of the Allegro EMUs to Finland * Test Driving Allegro Pendolinos *

Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino Sm6 nr1 unit onlin for the first time in Kerava, Finland

 

Created for 4rail.net by John McKey. Pictures by Stanislav Voronin, Peider SwissTrip and John McKey.

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Picture above: this is the first picture ever published on the Allegro unit on its test drive in Kerava, southern Finland. The unit was run through a test program daily, 7 days a week, in the early 2010 to ensure the start of operations without any glitches. By years end 2010 all 4 units had been certified in Russia. Picture by Stanislav Voronin.
 

 

 
   
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  Karelian Trains

Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino unit and the company management from Finland and Russia
Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino Sm6 nr1 at Kerava, Finland

The Karelian Trains is organized as a cooperation between the mighty RzD (the Russian state railways) of Russia and VR-Yhtymä (the Finnish state railways) of Finland. RzD has been actively organizing new smaller units separate of its 2 million people works force. Karelian trains is one of these new era units for them.

The two railroad companies have for a moment still a monopoly for running traffic between Finland and Russia, although this monopoly is on rails only. The current situation might change in coming years as this kind of arrangements are seen as braking against the basic rules of European Union and the Union has taken strong steps against the similar arrangement in the air. The airliners form the strongest competition to the Karelian trains as the cost of travel is practically the same and flying only takes 35 minutes compared with the 3,5 hours on train. With the competition starting in the air we will see if the now successful operations of the Karelian trains need to be revised. Other competing forms of transportation are buses and minibuses, private cars and ferry ships running between St Petersburg and Helsinki.

Karelian trains was initially set up as a normal cooperation but later became a train owner only. The marketing is arranged by both parent companies and the services for the trains are also provided from outside.

For the moment Karelian trains fleet consists of 4 Allegro Pendolinos. For the future of the successful operations we expect they will have more units of the same or similar type.


On the upper picture Ali Huttunen the CEO of Karelian trains and Vice president Akulov of the RzD are posing next to the brand new Allegro unit 01 still in test drives.

On the lower picture the Allegro unit zooms past Kerava, Finland in the winter morning.

Both pictures by Stanislav Voronin.



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  Arrival of the Allegro Units to Finland

Karelian Trains Allegro being lifted from the ship
Karelian Trains Allegro being lifted from the ship
Karelian Trains Allegro being lifted from the ship
Karelian Trains Allegro being lifted from the ship
Karelian Trains Allegro being lifted from the ship

On one cold February morning the first unit of the Allegro Pendolino train sets neared Helsinki Vuosaari harbor on the open decks of the ship. The ship had started its journey weeks before from Italy, where the Savigliano built Pendolino had been loaded onto it. Normally at this time of the year there would had been heavy ice build up on the ship and its cargo on the ice covered Finnish gulf of the Baltic sea, but miraculously and to the relief of the crews this had been avoided this now. Also no storms this time, on similar voyage years ago on English channel one of the VR-Yhtyma Pendolinos was severely damaged and needed to be shipped back to its manufacturer for repairs.

A large harbor portable crane carefully lifted one by one all of the 7 Pendolino modules to the waiting heavy duty trucks on the pier.


Stas as a reporter was alert and at the harbor during the first offloading of the Pendolino units. As a result we now have these marvellous pictures published here. Look at especially the components under the first car hanging on the crane, and you can also click the picture to see the XL version of it - this should show even the smaller details of the cardan axle and other parts.

The first train travelled on trucks to Pasila depot, where it was craned to the tracks for connecting between the ready built modules. Some of the following units were already put to track at the harbor. Why carry a train 20 kilometers on highway if it can be offloaded to tracks where it is lowered from the ship?

All pictures by Stanislav Voronin.

 

 



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  Test Driving Allegro Pendolinos
Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino Sm6 nr1 unit inside Ilmala depot with a Pendolino Sm3 of VR-Yhtyma, Helsinki, Finland

The trains wen't through a very substantial testing program to root away any possible defects in the trains technical systems.

The picture on this section are form Ilmala depot area near Helsinki center. The area has plenty of inside work spaces, so just about any maintenance is possible in a well equipped environment.


On the left: The class Sm6 Allegro unit #1 is seen with quite similar looking 10 years older VR-Yhtymä class Sm3 Pendolino. This is one of the storage and service areas that come handy during the long, harsh, dark and often wet winter of southern coast Finland.

All pictures by Stanislav Voronin.

Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino unit outside Ilmala depot, Helsinki, Finland
Snaking out of the shelterm, weather allowing. The initial testing was done on the tracks of Ilmala yard. The doors above lead to the same service building as is seen inside in the above picture.

Picture by Stanislav Voronin.
Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino unit outside Ilmala depot in Käpylä, Helsinki, Finland
Here the Karelian trains Allegro has finally reached as far as Käpylä station and is actually seen on the southbound north-south main line tracks for the first time.

Picture by Stanislav Voronin.

Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino unit outside Ilmala depot in Käpylä, Helsinki, Finland
Karealian Trains Allegro Pendolino has just gotten the UIC codes
Karealian Trains Allegro Pendolino test phase equipment
Karealian Trains Allegro Pendolino test phase equipment


Other angles to the same subject.

 

 


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Karelian Trains Allegro Pendolino Sm6 nr1 unit onlin for the first time in Kerava, Finland


Finally after torturing several weeks of thorough testing of the basic technologies of train Allegro unit #1 is seen passing Kerava on main line tracks. The train control package testing phase has begun.

Picture by Stanislav Voronin.

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