The first Operail’s locomotives have arrived in Finland and the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has approved the safety management system of Operail Finland Oy, which forms part of the Operail group. A licence was obtained for the company in May to operate a rail transport service on Finnish railway infrastructure. Freight transport will commence in autumn.
Paul Lukka, a member of the management board of Operail, says that the company has worked long and hard to start providing a freight transport service in Finland. “The issuing of the operating licence and the certification of our safety management system are important milestones for us, and confirm that the quality of the service we’ll be providing meets the highest standards required in Finland,” he remarked. “We’re coming to the Finnish market with wide-ranging experience and we’ll be offering our clients a service concept that’s guided by their needs.”
Lukka added that the company’s Finnish team has been joined by leading railway industry specialists and that locomotive drivers have been hired. “Which means that as soon as the new locomotives are certified, we’ll be ready to start serving our clients,” he said.
Operail will be providing its freight transport service on the Finnish market using nine Wabtec PowerHaul locomotives. “The PowerHaul locomotives are heavy haul, six-axle locomotives that provide high efficiency and reliability you need for heavy freight train transport,” Lukka said. The first two PowerHaul locomotives, which meet all European railway requirements and standards (TSI), have already arrived in Finland. “They’re undergoing testing and certification, after which they’ll be able to go into service,” he explained. “We’re hoping to start transporting freight in autumn.”
Operail is an Estonian state-owned railway company whose main areas of operation are freight transport, the construction and repairing of locomotives and railway carriages and the rental of rolling stock. The company employs almost 650 people. In addition to the parent company AS Operail, the Operail group includes the carriage rental companies AS Operail Leasing and Operail Leasing Finland Oy and the Finnish railway transport company Operail Finland Oy.