Transtech and Alstom interested in construction of rail carriages for Finnish Railways
According to information gathered by Helsingin Sanomat, at least two manufacturers of rail carriages are interested in receiving an order for sleeping cars to be placed by Finnish Railways (VR).
One of the two companies is the Finnish Transtech, while the other is the large multinational Alstom.
VR has already provided both companies with the tender documents, including the specific requirements for the new equipment .
The scope of the procurement is large, which means that an international bidding contest for the construction of the coaches will have to be arranged. At the first stage, the rolling stock companies are expected to declare whether or not they are interested in winning the contract.
An extraordinary shareholders’ meeting of the state-owned VR - or in practice Minister of Defence Jyri Häkämies (Nat. Coalition) - decided in October that VR is to place an order for 20 new double-deck sleeping cars. The matter had been agreed upon by the government.
The decision led to a note of resignation by the President and CEO of VR-Group Henri Kuitunen and the group’s Chairman of the Board Antti Lagerroos, as the VR leadership would have preferred to start replacing the existing passenger coaches no sooner than from the year 2012 onwards.
Behind the decision was the desire by the owner of VR, the Finnish state, to advance the renewal process of VR’s passenger coaches in order to secure the operation of the Kainuu-based Transtech company, which has been suffering from thin order-books and has been forced to lay off employees.
Transtech already has some experience as a supplier to VR, as in addition to other rolling stock (passenger carriages and car-transporter waggons) the company has manufactured a series of 20 double-deck sleeping cars with which VR has been satisfied.
The other interested company, Alstom, is also one of VR’s recent former contractors. The company has manufactured for VR 18 high-speed Pendolinos and 30 commuter trains, which are smaller versions of Pendolinos, without the high-speed component.
VR did not wish to comment on those ”several” other companies who are also apparently interested in the procurement.
Being interested does not necessarily mean that a manufacturer would actually offer a quotation, which should be submitted by mid-March.
If the price and quality of new carriages meet the specific requirements of VR, a purchase decision will be made later in the spring.
The evaluated value of the procurement is EUR 60 to 70 million.
Previously in HS International Edition:
VR directors quit because of dispute over new passenger coaches (22.10.2008)
Finnish Railways (VR): Sleeper trains, rolling stock