High-speed Allegro rail services between Helsinki and St. Petersburg start on 12 December. The travel time between the two cities will be cut by two hours to three and a half hours.
Travel time is cut due to technically more modern trains, faster border formalities and upgraded line. The top speed of the Allegro is 220 km/h. The trains are electric multiple units which means that locomotive change is no longer required.
Finnish Sibelius and Russian Repin trains are longer operated on Helsinki-St. Petersburg line as Allegro services start. Russian night train Tolstoi continues to run between Helsinki and Moscow.
“By summer 2011, the number of daily return journeys is planned to be increased from two to four”, the Russian Railways vice president said.
Allegro has seats for 344 passengers of which 296 in 2nd Class and 48 in 1st Class.
VR and RZD joint venture
The Allegro is a joint venture by VR and RZD, i.e. Russian Railways. VR and RZD are responsible for onboard services, timetables and ticket sales. The trainsets are owned by VR and RZD’s joint rolling stock company Karelian Trains.
Three of the four ordered Allegro trainsets are undergoing testing and test runs in Finland and Russia. The fourth trainset is due to arrive in Finland in the autumn from the factory.
(Sources: VR Group / RZD)