The first of four Allegro high-speed trains that will serve the Helsinki-St Petersburg line left the Alstom Savigliano site in Italy and then boarded a ship for Finland on December 30. Alstom Transport completed the train two years after signing a contract with Oy Karelian Trains Ltd, a joint venture between Russian Railways (RZD) and Finnish Railways (VR).
The new train will be tested in Finland before traveling to Russia for tests and certification for operation on the Russian rail network. The other three trains will be delivered during 2010.
Alstom said that tilt technology will enable these trains to travel at high speeds on existing conventional lines. They will link Helsinki to St Petersburg in just three and a half hours, later to be reduced to three hours (compared with the current five and a half hours), with a maximum speed of 220 km/h. This compares favorably with an existing travel time of five and a half hours.