14 Dec 2023 19:00

Russian Railways has not approved transfer of Allegro trains to Finnish side - company

MOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) - Finland has not approached Russian Railways regarding the transfer of Allegro trains to its ownership.

"The transfer of trains to the ownership of the Finnish side by Russian Railways was not agreed upon," the Russian operator told Interfax.

It said that the Allegro high-speed trains were built specifically for the St. Petersburg - Helsinki route and were owned by Oy Karelian Trains Ltd, a carrier company created by Russian Railways and Finnish railway operator VR Group in November 2006. They were due to operate on the route until 2041.

"The Finnish state railway operator VR unilaterally stopped running Allegro trains in March 2022," Russian Railways said. "This violated the Russian-Finnish intergovernmental agreement of April 28, 2015 on direct international railway communications and the agreement of March 13, 2015 between Russian Railways and VR on cooperation in the organization of railway transport," it said.

The company said numerous proposals by Russian Railways to resume operation of Allegro trains under existing agreements were not accepted by the Finnish side. Oy Karelian Trains Ltd lost its source of income and was unable to honor its financial obligations as a result of them idling. "Thus, the unlawful actions by VR and the Finnish management of Oy Karelian Trains Ltd led to the latter's insolvency," Russian Railways said.

Finnish railway operator VR Group said on Thursday that it had bought the Allegro trains owned by a joint venture between VR and Russian Railways. "VR has redeemed the joint venture's loans and through the right of pledge taken possession of the trains today, December 14," it said.

VR has exercised its right of pledge, resulting in the transfer of four Sm6 trains into the company's ownership, it said.