|Karelian Trains Class Sm6|
Sm6 unit in Helsinki Central station
|Number in service||4|
|Formation||7 cars, length 184,800 mm (606 ft 4 in)|
|Capacity||337 + 2 disabled access + 38 in restaurant|
|Operator||VR Group, Russian Railways|
|Line(s) served||Helsinki – St. Petersburg|
|Car length||25,000 mm (82 ft 0 in) / 27,200 mm (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||550 mm (22 in) / 1,100 mm (43 in)|
|Maximum speed||220 km/h (140 mph)|
|Power output||5,500 kW|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV AC 50 Hz / 3 kV DC|
|Track gauge||built for 1,522 mm (4 ft 11.9 in)|
The Allegro is a high-speed train service 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 36 minutes and there are plans to bring it down to 3 hours. The name Allegro is the musical term for quick tempo, thereby suggesting "high speed".
Allegro connects the following stations:
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 custom controls
On board the train, each passenger is visited by four officials: a Finnish passport control officer, a Finnish customs officer, a Russian passport control officer and a Russian customs officer.
Between Vyborg and Vainikkala, the train travels in custom surveillance zone. During this period, the restaurant is closed and nobody can leave the train without permission from the relevant officers.
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 in 2012 is 3:36.
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-millimetre (5 ft 0 in) and the nominally slightly narrower Russian 1,520-millimetre (4 ft 11.8 in) gauge, and the doors are equipped with a retractable step to make boarding from both Finnish 550 mm (22 in) high and Russian 1,100 mm (43 in) high platforms easy. The units are equipped for both the Finnish and Russian railway technical systems, which differ substantially.
On board services
- Food: there is a restaurant coach, which serves food during the whole journey, except for the segment between Vyborg and Vainikkala, 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. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- "Allegro launch cuts Helsinki – St Petersburg journey times". Railway Gazette International (London). 13 December 2010.
- "Allegro". VR. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- "Timetables". VR Group. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
- "News". Karelian Trains. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Timetables - VR
- 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]. Rautatietekniikka (in Finnish) (Rautatiealan Teknisten Liitto RTL ry) 22 (2): 10–12. 2010. ISSN 1237-1513.
- "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
- Footage of a stop at Kerava station during a test run on 7 April 2010
- Oy Karelian Trains Ltd
- High-speed train St. Petersburg - Helsinki
- Скоростной поезд "Аллегро" (Russian)
- Allegro to St Petersburg - with link to timetable (English)