Russia will launch the Alstom-built high-speed Allegro trains by the end of 2010 on rail links between St Petersburg and Finnish capital Helsinki, national railways (RZD) vice-president Mikhail Akulov has said.
The seven-carriage train, which can operate at 220kph and carry 344 people, will replace the existing Sibelius and Repin trains and cut the travel time from six to 3.5 hours.
“Passenger travel between Russia and Finland accounts for around 52% of RZD’s entire volume of international transport,” Akulov said.
“We plan to increase the volume of passenger transport between the countries by 12% each year until 2014.”
France’s Alstom is building the trains under a €120m ($165m) contract signed in September 2007 by Oy Karelian Trains, a joint venture of Russian and Finnish railways.