Allegro is a high-speed train service, operating Alstom VR Class Sm3 trains, between Helsinki, Finland, and St. Petersburg, Russia. The service started on 12 December 2010. The aim is to reduce travel time between Helsinki and Saint Petersburg: before Allegro, the journey time was 5½ hours; currently it is 3 hours and 27 minutes and there are plans to bring it down to 3 hours. The name Allegro is a musical term for a quick tempo, thereby suggesting "high speed".
|Karelian Trains Class Sm6|
Sm6 unit in Helsinki Central Station
|Number in service||4|
|Capacity||337 + 2 disabled access|
+ 38 in restaurant
|Operator(s)||VR Group, Russian Railways|
|Line(s) served||Helsinki – St. Petersburg|
|Train length||184.80 m (606 ft 4 in)|
|Car length||25.00 m (82 ft 0 in) |
27.20 m (89 ft 3 in)
|Width||3,200 mm (10 ft 6 in)|
|Height||4,270 mm (14 ft 0 in)|
|Floor height||1,270 mm (4 ft 2 in)|
|Platform height||200 mm (7.9 in) (Russia AC and Finland the North) |
550 mm (21.7 in) (Finland the South)
1,100 mm (43.3 in) (Russia DC)
|Maximum speed||220 km/h (140 mph)|
|Power output||5,500 kW (7,400 hp)|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV 50 Hz AC |
3 kV DC catenary
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Track gauge||Russian track:|
1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) Russian gauge
1,524 mm (5 ft)
1,522 mm (59.92 in)
Allegro connects the following stations:
The trains also stopped previously in Pasila like every other passenger train from and to Helsinki, but this stop was discontinued on 27 March 2016.
Vainikkala (on the Finnish side of the border) and Vyborg are special stations: on trains bound for Finland, passengers are not allowed to leave the train at Vyborg, as the train only stops to pick up passengers; and on trains bound for Russia, passengers are not allowed to leave the train at Vainikkala, for the same reason.
Passport and Customs controlsEdit
On board the train, each passenger is visited by Finnish passport control and customs officers, as well as their Russian counterparts.
Finnish border control takes place while the train is travelling between Kouvola and Vainikkala, while Russian border control takes place while the train is travelling between Vyborg and St Petersburg. If boarding/exiting at Vainikkala or Vyborg, the checks take place inside these stations.
The Sm6 appears similar to VR's earlier Sm3 Pendolino series, but is based on the fourth generation 'Pendolino Nuovo' or 'New Pendolino' designs and its construction differs from the Sm3 in many ways.
The top speed of the train in passenger traffic is 220 km/h (140 mph) and the train can run at a speed of at least 200 km/h (120 mph) between Tikkurila and Luumäki and Vyborg and St. Petersburg after extensive rail works. The aim is to reduce travel time between Helsinki and Saint Petersburg from 5½ hours to 3 hours. The travel time as of 2017[update] was 3:27.
The Sm6 is equipped to operate on both the Finnish and the Russian railway networks. The units have dual-voltage electrical equipment able to use both the Finnish 25 kV 50 Hz alternating current and the Russian 3 kV direct current electrification. The wheelsets are built to run at over 200 km/h (120 mph) speeds on both the Finnish 1,524 mm (5 ft) and the nominally slightly narrower Russian 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) gauge, and the doors are equipped with a retractable step to make boarding from both Finnish 550 mm (21.7 in) high and Russian 1,100 mm (43.3 in) high platforms easy. The units are equipped for both the Finnish and Russian railway technical systems, which differ substantially.
On board servicesEdit
- Food: there is a restaurant coach, which serves food during the whole journey, except for the segment between Vyborg and St Petersburg, when the train is in customs surveillance zone.
- Currency exchange: there is an agent walking constantly back and forth on the train offering currency exchange services.
- Children's area: there is an area where small children can play.
- "Allegro high speed Pendolino train presented at Finland station in Saint Petersburg". Alstom. 7 October 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- "Allegro launch cuts Helsinki – St Petersburg journey times". Railway Gazette International. London. 13 December 2010.
- "Allegro". VR. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- "Timetables". VR Group. Archived from the original on 2010-11-30. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- "News". Karelian Trains. Archived from the original on 2009-03-28. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Timetables - VR Archived June 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Salo, Sakari K (2011). "Helsingin–Pietarin liikenteen kehityksestä allegro". Resiina (in Finnish). Museorautatieyhdistys ry, Suomen Rautatiehistoriallinen Seura ry (1): 24–36. ISSN 0356-0600.
- "2000-luvun tekniikalla kohti Pietaria" [Towards St. Petersburg with 21st century technology] (PDF). Rautatietekniikka (in Finnish). Rautatiealan Teknisten Liitto RTL ry. 22 (2): 10–12. 2010. ISSN 1237-1513.[permanent dead link]
- "Putin joins Halonen on first run of high-speed Allegro train from Helsinki to St. Petersburg". Helsingin Sanomat International edition. Helsinki. December 2010.
Media related to Karelian Trains Class Sm6 at Wikimedia Commons