Spanish CAF metro trains for Helsinki

Helsinki will order its new metro trains from Guipúzcoa-based manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, CAF. The executive board of Helsinki City Transport decided upon the matter at its meeting on October 16.

Comparing all the tenders submitted, CAF was the most affordable in terms of overall economy, the company said in a press release. The criteria used to assess the tenders were the acquisition price, the commercial terms and conditions, operating and maintenance costs, the level of train technology, design and innovation as well as co-operation capabilities and the reliability of deliveries.

The total price of the procurement (excluding VAT) is €140.4 million and it concerns 20 metro trains consisting of four cars (the tender proper and the first-stage option).

CAF is one of the main manufacturers of metro vehicles in Europe. In recent years CAF has delivered metro trains for example to Madrid, Rome, Barcelona and Brussels. It has been awarded contracts in Washington, too.

The new metro train fleet is required for the West Metro. According to CAF, “in addition, the procurement is part of the preparation for the potential extension of the West Metro from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti. It also covers the opportunity to exercise the other option, should the so-called East Metro to Sipoo be realised sooner than expected.”

Contract negotiations between HKL and CAF will begin immediately on the basis of the procurement decision. The objective is to sign the procurement contract by the end of the year. Following the current schedule, the first new train will be delivered for test-running at the end of 2014 and all 20 trains will enter service over 2015-2016.

The total length of the new trains is 90 metres, corresponding to the train units currently in use at off-peak hours and with a passenger capacity of 576. The train is accessible in its entirety from one end to the other, making it easy to move between cars during the journey. The trains are also air-conditioned.

The trains will at first be equipped with a temporary cabin, necessary in the transitional stage towards the automation of the metro traffic control system. Once the automation is completed, the temporary cabin will be dismantled and the space converted for passenger use.

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