Finland - Russian wagons and locomotives in Finland

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Russian wagons can be seen in many places in Finland as the Russian broad gauge of 1520 mm differs from the Finnish gauge only by 4 mm. Russian locomotives however can only be observed in a few places, most notably the stations Vainikkala, Vartius and Imatrankoski, where a couple of times a day a Russian locomotive brings a train from Russia to Finland or the other way round. This one is a remnant of the old Soviet socialist times, a class VL-82M double locomotive, which here pics up a Russian passenger train on way from Helsinki to Moscow. VL in the class name stands for "Vladimir Lenin". Picture in Vainikkala 27.8.2009 by Ilkka Siissalo. Since 2009 a lot has changed - see below how the trains look like now.


Another view of the old Soviet VL-82M locomotives. Picture at Vainikkala station 28.7.2008 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Still another shot of a VL-82M. These beasts are history by now. Picture at Vainikkala station 28.7.2008 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Russian TEP-70 diesel looks huge as it brings a Finnish express train from St Petersburg across the border and stops here at Vainikkala station to hand the train over to Finnish locomotives. This picture is from the times before the Allegro bullet trains. See picture category Finland -> Allegro. Picture at Vainikkala station 27.8.2009 by Sanna Siissalo.


A Russian TEP-70 diesel with Finnish coaches. Picture 27.8.2009 in Vainikkala by Sanna Siissalo.


A Russian TEP-70 diesel seen from the front. Picture 27.8.2009 in Vainikkala by Ilkka Siissalo.


A rake of Russian RZD "October railways" express train coaches after having arrived from Russia and now waiting for a Finnish locomotive to pick them up and take to Helsinki. These same coaches used to be dark green during the Soviet times. Now they are already past history. Picture 27.8.2009 in Vainikkala by Ilkka Siissalo.


Old coaches, new colors. A long rake of Russian RZD express coaches forming an express service Helsinki-Moscow, now in RZD's newest color scheme. Picture at Helsinki central station 30.7.2012 by Ilkka Siissalo.


In 2017 the Russian express trains looked already quite different from the old ones pictured above. This is the class EP20 brand new locomotive, which took over the Helsinki to Moscow express train at Vainikkala 15.7.2017. The EP20 is a joint effort of the French company Alstom and a Russian company. The design is based on Alstom's famous "Prima" locomotives, but the EP20 is by far bigger and has 6 axles. It can handle both 3 kV DC as well as 25 kV AC electricity. These are now top of the line electric express train locomotives of Russian RZD. Picture in Vainikkala 15.7.2017 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another view of the same EP20 as above, now ready to start moving the Helsinki to Moscow express train "Tolstoi". It's a big and fast machine. Picture in Vainikkala 15.7.2017 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Two fast and tilting "Allegro" Pendolinos meeting in Vainikkala, the left one coming from Helsinki and right one from St Petersburg. The Allegro is a joint venture of Finnish VR and Russian RZD. For more pictures of Allegro trains, see category Finland -> Allegro. On the right hand side brand new express train coaches of the Russian RZD. These are part of the same "Tolstoi" express service as shown in the pictures of the EP20 locomotive above. These coaches are the most modern ones of RZD. They are built by Siemens in Austria and they are derived from the famous Austrian RailJet coaches. Picture in Vainikkala 15.7.2017 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A pair of Russian RZD's class TEM18V (T3M18B) large diesels is bringing from Russia a very long mineral and oil product train into Vainikkala. Also the TEM18Bs are new. These machines are what in the US would be called as "road switchers", designed for shunting duties, but capable of main line service as well. Picture in Vainikkala 15.7.2017 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same pair of TEM18V locomotives as in the picture above, but now seen from the front and with a long rake of empty natural gas condensate coaches ready to return to Russia. Picture in Vainikkala 15.7.2017 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Side view of the same TEM18V locomotives as above. Picture in Vainikkala 15.7.2017 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A typical Russian cargo wagon, in this case in use by the company Transgarant. Photo at Vainikkala station 27.8.2009 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A huge 12-axle Russian double locomotive of the class 2Te116 bringing a long timber train from Russian Carelia to the pulp and paper factories on the Finnish side of the border. Photo at Imatrankoski station 17.7.2008 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another view of the same 2Te116 as it picks up an empty rake of timber wagons and heads back towards Enso (Russian Svetogorsk) on the other side of the border. Photo at Imatrankoski station 17.7.2008 by Ilkka Siissalo.


An originally Russian heavy road switcher of the type ChME3 no. 1327, but now in Estonian register and here photographed in Kirkkonummi, southern Finland. Estonian state railways inherited a number of these old Soviet machines. They still use some by the Estonian state railways, but some have also been sold to private companies. This one is now owned by Leonhard Weiss, a company which operates in many countries especially in rail maintenance. It's not possible to register a ChME3 in Finnish register, but when a certain strecth of track is closed from all other traffic, even this kind of an old Soviet machine can run in Finland, not officially as a locomotive, but as a "track maintenance machine". Here Leonhard Weiss operated as a subcontractor for the Finnish company Destia and their task was to renew tracks between Kirkkonummi and Siuntio on the Helsinki to Turku main line.
Picture from near the Kirkkonummi station 30.8.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.
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