Finnish state-owned railway company VR Group has established a wholly owned subsidiary to operate its railway maintenance unit.

The subsidiary is called VR Maintenance Oy and has commenced its operations under the company’s senior vice-president Kimmo Soini.

VR Group has also transferred 990 employees to the new subsidiary.

The move to establish VR Maintenance is primarily driven to bolster its rail equipment and rolling stock maintenance services. VR Group also aims to expand into new neighbouring markets and other sectors.

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VR Group president and CEO Rolf Jansson said: “With this change, VR Group is conforming to the requirements of its operating environment in accordance with its strategy and simultaneously creating a platform for new growth.

“The incorporation of maintenance makes it possible to create entirely new markets in Finland and abroad.”

“The incorporation of maintenance makes it possible to create entirely new markets in Finland and abroad.

“In addition to this, VR Group will now be able to concentrate even more on passenger and freight traffic and improve the customer experience.”

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The scope of VR Maintenance services will include preventive and daily maintenance of multi-brand rolling stock, fault repairs, rail component refurbishments, freight wagon manufacture and equipment lifecycle management.

Additionally, VR Maintenance will provide rail traffic equipment technology advisory services.

Kimmo Soini said: “As the rail traffic market share of all traffic grows, the maintenance market will also grow.

“We have faith in our competitiveness in this market and we believe that we can put the operative experience gained by the company to good use. We have an excellent understanding of what our customers want.

“The incorporation will also open up new opportunities for us to develop and expand our current operations.”