Škoda Transtech Oy has secured a €50m order to deliver sleeper and car-carrier coaches to Finnish state-owned railway company VR.

In an initial step, Škoda Transtech will supply nine sleeper coaches as well as eight car-carrier coaches.

It also has the provision to provide another 30 sleeper and 30 car-carrier coaches later.

The coaches will be manufactured at the firm’s factory in Otanmäki, Kajaani in Finland.

They will replace the aging blue sleeper coaches, whose service lives will expire in the early 2030s.

Škoda Transtech CEO Juha Vierros said: “This deal will strengthen the order book of our Otanmäki factory and maintain the region’s vitality and competitiveness.”

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Purchase of these coaches is aimed at coping up with the rising demand for night train travel and is expected to help increase the number of future night train services or routes.

The new rolling stock will be in use by 2025-end, on overnight rail routes from Helsinki, Turku and Tampere to Oulu, Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi, and Kolari.

VR CEO Elisa Markula said: “We are pleased to note that the popularity of night train travel has grown by 17 per cent, compared to 2018. With these new coaches, we want to meet the wishes of our customers and further develop the travel experience.”

At present, VR has 80 sleeper coaches and 33 car-carrier coaches in its night fleet.

The firm, which has a contract with Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications for night train traffic, will fund the procurement itself.

As specified in the contract, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will compensate the firm for part of the procurement expenses.