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Finland's capital gives away its old trams

One of the Helsinki trams which is being given away

The Finnish city of Helsinki is giving away some of its old trams, but the offer comes with a few strings attached.

A notice published by the city’s transport authority says that they have a number of antique trams that aren’t quite fit for museums, but would rather not send to the scrap yard.

Instead, they are offering them for free to collectors, on the condition that they are conserved and not turned into summer cottages or storage facilities, national broadcaster Yle reports.

Yle also says that prospective owners of the trams must not take the retired vehicles out of the country.

Interested parties need to get their bids in by the end of August, and must outline to Helsinki City Transport what – exactly – they plan to do with the old streetcars.

They must also be prepared to submit annual reports on the wagons’ use.

Of the trams on offer, one is older than the nation of Finland itself, which celebrated its centenary last December. Another is a spritely 60 years old, 14.2m long (46.5 feet) and can carry 111 passengers.

While a free tram might sound appealing, Yle notes that a hidden cost may put potential buyers off.

It says that those looking to get their hands on one must cover the cost of transportation, given that the vehicles are no longer fit for the roads.

Reporting by Alistair Coleman

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