VR unveils new designs in first class overhaul

The renovated interiors have a sleek Nordic design and look like the business class cabin from an airline.

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Concept art for interior of refurbished VR Extra Class cabin / Credit: VR

Finnish train company VR is upgrading all 57 of its first class carriages, known as Extra Class.

The company is rolling out the freshly designed product after extensive consultations with passengers about what sort of qualities they want when they travel by train.

The results are a sleek Nordic design with lots of light wood trim, dark brown leather chairs and slate grey fabrics.

“Our goal is to provide the best form of business travel in Finland. In the new Extra Class space, special attention has been paid to the comfort and quality of the trip and a peaceful environment” explains Salla Ketola, VR’s Sales and Customer Experience Manager.

The new interiors resemble an airline business class cabin, with shell seats giving an extra feeling of privacy; renovated bathrooms; increased space for luggage; more stylish lighting elements as well as the familiar beverage area.

The renovated carriages have fewer seats in Extra Class than at present, making the interiors feel more roomy for passengers as well.

“We wanted to create a special travel experience, something extra. For example, we were willing to compromise on a small number of seats, which allowed for wider-than-usual seating. In this way, our customers can travel more comfortably” says Ketola.

The popularity of Extra Class is growing, with 360,000 trips during 2018 – an increase of 10% on the previous year.

VR has spent some €235 million over the last five years on refurbishing its rolling stock including restaurant cars and sleeper cabins. The Extra Class refurbishments will be completed by the end of 2020.

File picture of VR train at Helsinki Central Railway Station / Credit: News Now Finland