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Spårakoff is a HM V type tram converted into a bar in Helsinki, Finland. Known as the pub tram, the bright red vehicle does circular tours of Helsinki picking up passengers for an additional fee during summer months.
Claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world, the pub tram is immediately distinguishable in the Helsinki traffic by its vivid red colour and PUB destination board. Normal trams operated on the Helsinki tram network by Helsinki City Transport are green and cream. A tour ("pub crawl") takes approximately 40 minutes, travelling around the streets of Helsinki while its passengers enjoy their drinks.
The name "Spårakoff" comes from the Helsinki slang word spåra [tram]1 and the beer brand KOFF, produced by the Sinebrychoff Brewery—Finland's largest and most famous beer brewery. Spårakoff was given the number 175 to honour Sinebrychoff’s 175th Anniversary, and began operating as a pub tram on May Day Eve in 1995. Operation of the tram is by the Finnish restaurant chain S-Group.
Schedule and prices
Regularly scheduled tours between 19 May–29 August 2009. No tours on Thursday 21 May (Ascension Day) or Friday 19 June–Monday 22 June (Midsummer weekend). Departures Tuesday–Saturday from the Rautatientori square in front of the Fennia building at 14:00, 15:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00 and 20:00. Spårakoff can also be boarded at Linnanmäki, the Opera House, the Old student House and the Helsinki Market Square tram stops. The tour takes about 40 minutes.
As of 2009[update], the price of the tour is €8, or €7 with a S-Bonus card: €7, or €4 for children under twelve. Drinks are priced separately. Brochures are available from the Spårakoff pub tram and the Helsinki City Tourist and Convention Bureau at Pohjoisesplanadi 19.
The Spårakoff pub tram’s route passes many of Helsinki’s most notable sights: The Central Railway Station, Ateneum Art Museum, Pitkäsilta bridge, Hakaniemi Square and its market hall, the Kallio Library, the Linnanmäki Amusement Park, Töölö Bay, the Olympic Stadium, the Opera House, Finlandia Hall, the National Museum, the Parliament House, the Kiasma Museum of Modern Art, the Mannerheim statue, Old Student House, the Stockmann department store, the Market Square, the Presidential Palace and the Senate Square.
You can book the Spårakoff pub tram for private functions. Chartered trips 19 May – 18 Jun 6. and 31 Jul – 29 Aug from Tuesdays to Saturdays, provided that the trip ends no later than 13:00 or begins after 21:30 on Sundays and Mondays at any time. Route according to your preference. Hourly charge.
The tram has two bogies and was originally constructed in 1959. The conversion for pub use (including addition of a toilet) was in 1995.
- Width: 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in), height: 3.6 metres (11 ft 10 in)
- Track gauge: 1 metre (3.3 ft)
- Total mass: 20 tonnes (44,000 lb)
- Top speed: 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph)
- Capacity: 24 seats, 6 standing places, one flush toilet (WC)
The tram is staffed by one driver and one waiter/waitress serving customers.
^1 Although the letter å is part of the Finnish alphabet, native Finnish does not use it, and in commonly used Helsinki slang, the word for "tram" is spelled spora. However, the official spelling of Spårakoff's name retains the å from the original Swedish word spårvagn.
- "SpåraKOFF begins regularly scheduled traffic in Helsinki". Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- Tom Heino. "Ravintolaraitiovaunu Spårakoff - HKL 175". Suomen Raitiotieseura ry.
- Sinebrychoff pressrelease
-  The Official website of the Spårakoff
- Genuss mit den VBZ, restaurant trams in Zurich, Switzerland.