A new look for VR’s trains – an idea competition is now open to designers

Together with the design industry expert organisation Ornamo, VR is organising a competition to receive ideas for the appearance of its trains. The winner’s idea will be implemented in one long-distance train coach at the beginning of 2024. VR plans to use the new visual appearance created by the winner throughout its fleet in the future.

VR is acquiring new commuter and night train rolling stock, which will be put into service in 2026. With the new rolling stock coming in, this is a good time to plan the harmonisation of the appearance of the trains so that it better matches VR’s brand. The current appearance of long-distance and commuter trains has been in use for a long time, since 2010.

“The competition is a great opportunity for designers to make their work visible to hundreds of thousands of passengers for years to come. In the competition, we are looking for an idea that is iconic, timeless, stylish, recognisable and distinctive, because in the future, trains from other railway companies may also run on Finland’s railways,” says Elisa Markula, VR’s CEO.

The visual identity implemented in accordance with the brand, which was revamped in 2019, can already be seen on the website and in the VR Matkalla app, for example.

The competition is aimed at design professionals and students

For the competition proposal, participants will design a new look for a double-decker IC long-distance train and a single-decker commuter train. In addition, the proposal for the long-distance train will present an idea for making the service carriage stand out from the rest of the train, as well as an idea of the different roles of commuter trains and long-distance trains. On the basis of the winner’s work, VR will draw up detailed decal plans for different types of trains and coaches.

“The external appearance of trains has a long life cycle. Replacing the decals of all rolling stock takes several years, so the old and new look will coexist on trains for a while,” says Markula.

Competition submissions open on 23 August 2023 and close on 20 November 2023. Competition entries can also be submitted by pairs or working groups. The competition is single-stage and the materials for it can be found on the competition website. The competition prize money is EUR 30,000. The winner of the competition will be decided by the competition committee, which includes, among others, VR’s CEO, experts, a conductor and representatives appointed by Ornamo.

Find more information on the competition website., Opens in a new tab

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