The year 2013 was marked by significant investments in rolling stock
In April, VR presented the first of its new steering cars, which entered service in August. A total of 12 steering cars were put into service by the end of 2013.
With steering cars, trains can be steered from both ends without changing locomotives, which makes rail operations easier, particularly at the congested rail yards of Helsinki and Tampere.
VR has ordered a total of 26 DuettoPlus restaurant cars. The design was finalised in 2013, and representatives of a range of passenger groups, the VR Group's train and restaurant staff and other experts participated in the design process and the testing of the new vehicle. The first of the new restaurant cars entered service between Helsinki and Oulu in January 2014.
A new pricing system for train tickets was introduced at the start of June
Pricing is now more demand-based than before, and VR has also increased the number of special offers and campaigns throughout the year. The ticket prices now vary between train services and days of the week, depending on the demand and irrespective of the rolling stock used. The revamping of fares applies to domestic long-distance services. On services to Russia and on Allegro, demand-based pricing was already introduced in December 2011. Read more >>
In May 2013, VR opened VR Mobile, a new ticket shop, at m.vr.fi. In addition to the mobile shop, train tickets can also be purchased from the VR Online Shop (at www.vr.fi), from ticket machines, from VR's ticket offices and telephone service, on trains and by making the reservation by phone and picking up the tickets from R-kiosks. Most travel agencies also sell train tickets.
By making all long-distance services non-smoking, VR aims to improve the comfort level and safety of its passengers
All long-distance trains became non-smoking in June. The smoking booths will be converted into luggage and bicycle storage space. The smoking booths in the restaurant cars of the Pendolino trains will be made part of the restaurant space available to customers.
Already one million passengers on Allegro
The one-millionth passenger boarded the Allegro train in September. Eight fast Allegro services operate between Helsinki and St. Petersburg daily. In 2011, VR set a target of 500,000 trips for Allegro per year by 2015. About 90 per cent of this target has already been achieved. Most of Allegro's passengers are from Russia, but the share of Finnish passengers is continuing to grow. Allegro is a joint project of VR and RZD, i.e. Russian Railways.