Finland-based VR Group is set to unveil the first of 26 IC2 DuettoPlus double-deck restaurant cars in late January and early February.

The new double-deck DuettoPlus restaurant cars are being built by Finnish supplier Transtech for a purchase price of €68.5m.

The first cars will be put into service to operate between Helsinki and Oulu.

Equipped with a stage for in-house performances, the lower deck of the car features a modern restaurant that can seat 53 customers. The upper deck features a passenger compartment that can seat 41 customers.

The catering services in the train will be handled by VR Group subsidiary Avecra.

"We want to offer our customers better service with the new rolling stock."

The car also features a café-bar on the intermediate deck’s one end and a kiosk at the other end of the intermediate deck.

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VR Group passenger services senior vice-president Antti Tiitola said: "The oldest restaurant cars are from the 1970s and we want to offer our customers better service with the new rolling stock.

The company currently operates 37 older restaurant cars of four types and 18 restaurant cars on Pendolinos, which will be replaced by the new ones.

All the 26 new cars will operate in long-distance InterCity trains running to Rovaniemi, Joensuu, Oulu, Kajaani, and other regions.

Of the total new cars, the last two will be delivered to VR Group in early 2015, while the remaining will be handed over in 2014.

Image: An artist impression of the lower deck restaurant in the new double deck DuettoPlus restaurant cars. Photo: courtesy of VR-Yhtymä Oy.