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BLOG CEO’s review – an eventful year as VR FleetCare

6. November 2020
More than a year has passed since our company was renamed and rebranded. VR FleetCare was the final choice because we needed a name that would work also on the international rail traffic maintenance market. We had, and still have, a clear vision that there is demand for our expertise and services also on a wider scale outside of Finland. We want to be part of enabling the world’s most sustainable rail traffic.

Our year as VR FleetCare has been incredible and memorable. We all remember the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic – but many good things, too, have happened to us as a company. We have started several interesting development projects and, on the business operations side, we have succeeded in our efforts and established many new customer relationships.

At present, the pandemic is affecting travel and, correspondingly, rail traffic significantly. However, rail traffic is a sustainable means of travel and transport of the future that will increase its share of traffic volumes in both Finland and abroad. We will continue to develop our operations determinedly, and we have strong faith in the future.

Our strategy was renewed. As our operating environment transforms, we, too, must transform. In our strategy, we identified five key factors in which we have to succeed, and we will be on the journey of becoming the best in the world.

Our work is high quality and safe, so the safety of our passengers and the environment is guaranteed. We will improve the customer experience by fulfilling our promises, and therefore earning the trust of our customers. We will grow on the international market and seek growth from other rail traffic – we will also grow as an employer and service provider. We will update the operations of our company by implementing modern operating models, and we will utilise the opportunities brought about by digitalisation. Sustainable economic success guarantees the opportunity to develop our operations.

As VR FleetCare, we have participated in several rolling stock maintenance tender processes in both Finland and our neighbouring countries. We have been successful. The cherry on top of the cake was winning the contract in the Helsinki Region Transport competitive tendering process, in which VR FleetCare offered the maintenance and lifecycle management of Helsinki Region Transport’s Flirt rolling stock for years 2021–2031 as part of the tender. The maintenance of Estonian Elron’s bogies will continue at the Pieksämäki machine shop, and the Danish A/S StoreBaelt brought its track work equipment to be upgraded in Pieksämäki. We are also gaining experience of other rolling stock as we are handling the basic repairs for Helsinki City Transport’s (HKL) 102 metro trains in the coming years. The first repaired metro trains will soon enter passenger service in the capital region.

I am especially happy about the SmartCare services we have developed. They take us into a new era of rolling stock and track infrastructure maintenance. We are continuously looking for new technological solutions to improve our customer service. Our goal is to use data and analytics to produce even more detailed information on the condition of rolling stock and provide more cost-effective maintenance services. The benefits for the customer come from optimised maintenance measures and the resulting reliability and cost savings as well as identifying faults before they cause disruptions to traffic. An example of this is the condition supervision pilot project of the rail infrastructure’s points that we completed in cooperation with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, the owner of the Finnish railway network. Read more about the results and solutions from the project. 

Finally, I want to thank each and every one of our expert staff. The actions of every VR FleetCare employee matter. Without you, we could not have achieved what we have. We have only started our journey together, but we are gathering speed.

 

Kimmo Soini

 

News

Helsinki City Transport will carry out overhaul and modernisation on all of its metro trains in the M100 and M200 series. VR FleetCare is responsible for all the renovation work performed on the project. Modernisation will improve the comfort of travel.
Utilisation of data in optimisation of railway operations and maintenance of rolling stock.
VR FleetCare has successfully tested a new IoT system for monitoring and analysing the condition of point machines in real time. The pilot project of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, which owns the railway network, and VR FleetCare, which provides the fleet and rail infrastructure services, has yielded very promising results.
Join our experts in discussions regarding rolling stock, predictive maintenance and IoT at our Tuesday Talks!
VR FleetCare renovates A/S StoreBaelt's Plasser & Theurer OBW-100 track vehicles at Pieksämäki Service Workshop
The development of the train fleet’s maintenance programme and the management of the lifecycle are some of the key content for the new contract period. During the contract period, the co-operation will be utilized in which the service branch of Stadler, the Swiss manufacturer of the FLIRT trains used by HSL, provides material and expert services to VR FleetCare.
Switches play a key role in ensuring smooth railway operations. A switch is used at a railway junction to steer trains from one track to another. Last year, switch failures caused over 5,000 disruptions to traffic in Finland. To enhance the monitoring of the condition of switches, VR FleetCare, a company offering railway fleet management, and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA), which is in charge of Finnish railways and their development, have launched a joint pilot project focused on collecting and analysing data to obtain real-time information about the condition of switches.
Watch the video and find out how we have built up the modern data platform around AWS -services. And how data-driven maintenance will, in addition to creating significant cost savings for the rail fleet owners, increase safety and enhance the usability of the rolling stock.
Bogies are the most significant components of the rail fleet in terms of lifecycle costs and traffic safety. VR FleetCare, which invests in data-driven and preventive rail fleet maintenance, and EKE-Electronics specialising in train information systems have agreed on a product development project concerning the bogie condition monitoring. The new analysis and optimisation methods developed as a result of this agreed cooperation will significantly improve the rail fleet maintenance.