Last mile in Finland

Finland is a place known for vodka, people with lots of umlauts and double letters who know what they’re doing, more vodka, forests, a deeply alien language and more forests.

Amongst their main exports are timber and vodka and to shift the first of these in large quantities they use rail freight. They therefore need something to haul their freight and so they’ve ordered 80 electric locomotives from Siemens.

Illustration for article titled Last mile in Finland

We note that Finland is also noted for snow.

It’s also noted for a war against the Soviet Union which they lost (at horrendous cost to the Soviets), taking part in the siege of Leningrad and afterwards convincing everyone that it had been an all-German affair, and then having a second go at war with the Soviet Union.


The locos are neither internally nor externally combusted but externally powered so they run under wires. As they’re not hauling around engines, alternators and related equipment they can produce rather a lot of power and so they’re 6.4 MW or 8,500 bhp, something like twice what a diesel would have to play with.

That’s fine, but overhead lines don’t go everywhere so VR have ordered “last mile” engines so to be able to move around unelectrified yards. The locos therefore have a pair of little diesel engines of just 180 kw each. Just 5% or so of the usual power output. They must crawl around with these so, mustn’t they?


Not necessarily.

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