VR introduces its 1 km-long freight train

super train VR Transpoint has introduced Mörkö, its 7,000-tonne super train comprising 80 wagons, totalling a train length of is about one kilometre. The train is pulled by two Vectron electric locomotives and operates between Vainikkala and Hamina as part of Finnish transit traffic. With an increase size, the train, equivalent of almost one hundred trucks, enhances freight train traffic, reduces the emissions and improves the competitiveness of Finland’s transit traffic.

“Since last summer, we have tested several 7,000-tonne trains. We now have experience in the operational reliability of such a heavy train in the different conditions of summer, autumn and winter. This is crucial as we are aiming for the maximum hauling capacity of our new electric locomotive,” Martti Koskinen, Senior Vice President at VR Transpoint, part of VR Group, said.

The super train name Mörkö (the ogre) was chosen from suggestions submitted in VR’s internal competition. Among the suggestions, the king of freight trains was compared to both a fairy-tale character and a legendary hockey hero.

“With the better hauling capacity of Vectron electric locomotives, VR Transpoint has been able to gradually increase train sizes, which also considerably enhances the freight traffic passing through Finland. Very long freight trains are commonly used in Russia. Previously, those trains had to be divided into several smaller trains in Vainikkala. The promotion of electrically driven traffic and enhancing axle loads are very important to freight traffic. The company says that in the future, plans to increase the train sizes, assuming that the load capacity of the rail infrastructure must be increased.

“It would be considerably more efficient if we could drive the trains coming from Russia as they are to the harbour. In addition to larger transports, this will positively impact VR Transpoint’s competitiveness, and Finnish transit traffic will also be seen as a more competitive option,” Koskinen explained.

The previous Finnish record for tonnage of trains was set last spring. Then, a train weighing 6,000 tonnes comprising 66 wagons, was piloted on the Vainikkala–Hamina railway. The 1,000-tonne increase to the train’s weight is considerable. When fully loaded, Mörkö is the equivalent of 92 trucks, while its predecessor weighed the same as 79 trucks. The most important thing in increasing train sizes is not breaking records but reducing energy consumption and emissions in railway transport. Train traffic is already one of the cleanest ways of transporting goods, and the good energy efficiency of train traffic is based on its great freight capacity. The larger the trains, the more freight they can transport at once.

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