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|4rail.net - Reference - Finland - Operators|
Finnish railroading was for long almost isolated from the rest of the West European networks. Because of the isolation, during the latest decades operations on the national network were mainly a monopoly of the state owned operator VR-Yhtyma (earlier Valtionrautatiet). During the EU membership period the railroads too have started to open for other operators and owners as well. But even with several plans the old structures change slowly.
Helsinki Metropolitan area operators
Other: Museums and Amusement parks
Maintenance of the Way
Rolling stock operators within Finnish territory.
A joint venture startup of the Finnish VR-Yhtyma (50%) and RzD (50%), the Russian Railways. Karelia Trains has 4 seven car Pendolino sets of Alstom to connect Helsinki Finland and St Petersburg Russia efficiently using high speed. These units have a special Karelian Trains Allegro Page.
A short line in Kotka-Karhula area serving the Sunila Pulp Factory. Operates two locomotives on it's private almost ten kilometers long rail line. The traffic is mostly pulpwood and pulp products. The owner or the railroading company is indirectly paper wood processing giant Stora Enso.
Proxion Train Oy
A start up to own rolling stock and operate freight movements. Was supposed to start operations in 2010, but it will be likely this will take more time due to successfull VR-Yhtyma counter attack. The latest plans call for new start in 2012. The target is to gain market share from the VR-yhtymas largest customers. Proxion is also facing a difficulty of finding rolling stock that could be operated on the Finnish gauge.
RzD, the Russian Railways
If the RzD (the Russian Railways) was a company inside the European Union, it would probably be the strong number two operator of Finland. Currently it is an ally to the VR-Yhtyma, running the trains just 10 kilometers or so into Finland where they are handed over to VR. RzD passenger cars also visit Helsinki daily from St Petersburg and Moscow (no need for gauge change for 4 mm gauge difference on the networks).
The forest industry giant Stora Enso was to acquire a fleet of several hundred freight cars of it's own. The company expressed it's dissatisfaction towards VR-Yhtyma not been able to deliver enough cars for the clients use before recession. The situation was said to have been similar for years. However, with the current grave economical situation nothing will probably happen in this sector. Also currently a lot of new RzD and EVR log, pulpwood and woodchip cars are utilized. Store Enso is also an indirect owner of the company Karhula-Sunila Railway in Kotka.
See also the news section for Stora Enso.
Teollisuuden Raideliikenne Oy TR Group
A new to be rolling stock operator, which has planned to start its operations several time, next deadline is in 2010. More on TR Group in the future.
United Paper Mills
UPM operated for years its local swithing locomotive in Lappeeranta. This operation was ceased and moved over to VR-Yhtyma at the end of the year 2009 probably due to practical and economical reasons. UPM also operates a relatively large fleet of pulpwood. log and woodchip cars, some built in Russia, registered in Estonia and financed by Nordea Bank of Sweden. The former locomotives of UPM found their way to Imatra to serve the competitor Stora Enso.
The Traditional large operator with adequate connections within the country and also abroad on 5ft / 1520 mm gauge. In 2010, VR will still has a practical monopoly on all rail traffic and related operations except maintenance, where it is rivalled by another state organization Destia. VR-Yhtyma consists of the railroad rolling stock owner and operating company for passenger and freight traffic, railroad construction company, and several smaller companies for different functions.
The company operates a fleet of several hundred electric and diesel locomotives and EMU's, 18 Pendolino units, and about dozen DMU's. To serve it's customers VR-Yhtyma has over 10'000 freight cars and several hundred passenger cars. More on the rolling stock in the near future.
VR-Yhtyma Info Page
VR-Yhtyma Roster Pictures
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Helsinki Metropolitan area operators
Rolling stock operators within Helsinki Metropolitan area.
HSL - Helsinki Region Transport
HSL is the organizer of the Helsinki metropolitan area (Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, Kauniainen, Kerava, kirkkonummi). The previous organizations YTV and HKL were fusioned to it from the beginning of the year 2010. The fusion did not include the metro and tram services of the city of Helsinki. HSL orders services from the bus and train operators in the region. For the moment a dozen bus operators and just one train operator offer services.
HKL - The City of Helsinki Transportation Authority
The city of Helsinki ownes and operates the Metro and several tramlines through it's organization HKL.
Helsinki Metro is one branching line with about 20 stations. The operations started in 1982. Every year the Metro seems to carry more and more passengers who have found it to be very punctual and precise in its operations. The city of Espoo, west of Helsinki, has decided to extend the line to it's area, and the construction was started in 2010 and will be finished in 2015.
The tram network in Helsinki is also ever extending, just like in most of the Western Europe. The HKL operates daily around 150 trams on it's surprisingly narrow 1 meter gauge network. About 40 new trams will be ordered shortly and anumber of used "retro trams", many with low floored sections, from Germany have also been added to the fleet. Many older trams were recently fitted with a middle lower section as well to meet the ever increasing demand for an easy access.
There is also one "Joker" bus line, and another similar line in the planning stage. The Joker line is currently operated with large and frequent buses, but the intent is to switch to trams or trolleys later. Hopefully the trams will be of broader gauge to allow interconnections with the rail networks and metro. The broader gauge would also allow for a lot more comfortable space for passengers. The current one meter gauge trams are very cramped and uncomfortable inside.
Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalusto Oy
The new company was established in 2004 to own and lease commuter trains operated in the Helsinki Metropolitan area under the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council (YTV/HMAC), now HSL. HMAC was for long been responsible for the mass transportation to outside Helsinki but not within the city itself for years. The owners of the train owner company PKJ are the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and tiny Kauniainen plus the national rail operator VR-Yhtyma thus forming a national coalition. So far the company has ordered 32 FLIRT EMU's from Stadler Bussnang AG for 189 million euros. The trains are 4 car units for around 250 passengers. Delivery started from the years 2008 with two units and will continue after Biela Russia will first get it's units from it's recent order. The production units arrived at the end of year 2008. These units will replace some of the older worn out and clearly falling apart Sm1 type EMU's owned by VR-Yhtyma.
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Including heritage stock operators, amusement parks, museums, quarries, etc.
Finnish Railroad Museum
Located conviniently just north of the Capital Helsinki in Hyvinkää, the Finnish railroad museum is a great place to visit. The musum documents well the Finnish railroading all the way from 1862, when Finland first saw operations as an autonomous area under Zhars Russia. Although the museum is missing much of the last 50 years in rolling stock, the period before that is just about complete and it has many special exhibitions.
Humppila - Jokioinen Museum Railway
A narrow gauge steam/diesel museum railway in the South Western Finland. The track is operated on weekends during the summer. A rare example on how a working railroad is transferred to a live museum operated by volunteers.
Haapamäki Railroad Park Museum
Probably the largest outdoor collection of railroad rolling stock the Haapamäki Railroad Park is located around 100 kilometers north east of Tampere. With over hundred more preserved rolling stock items there are also old treasures from the old Soviet Union, Germany and other countries. A place well worth visiting if you can drive or take a train there.
Toijala Locomotive Park Museum
On the main track from Helsinki to Tampere there is also a small Toijala Locomotive Museum housing around 20 mostly early diesel period locomotives, including some rarities. If you are driving highway 3 from Helsinki to Tampere, you will see a massive steam locomotive on the bank of the intersection, where you should turn to the museum. The locomotive is at the yard of a n ABC service station, which can also provide you with food, croceries and a resting place in driving.
Höyryraide Oy "Steamrail"
Höyryraide - the Steamrail arranges trips on PMR's line from Porvoo to Kerava. Their aim since 1994 is to renovate, keep and run historic trains.
Linnanmaki Amusement park in Helsinki
Linnanmaki has the oldest roller coaster in the Nordic Countries. Kept in a perfect working condition, the wooden structure offers a thrilling ride of a few minutes. The wooden roller coaster trains have a brake man in each train. Linnanmaki park also has several newer roller coasters, as well as the monorail and the miniature track.
Porvoon Museorautatie ry - Borgå Museijärnväg rf
This is a nostalgic Finnish broadgauge line from Kerava (near Helsinki) to
Porvoo east of Helsinki. Traffic on this privately owned line started already in 1874 with mixed trains. After a few financial catastrophes, pauses in traffic,
new owners etc. the line was finally sold to VR (the Finnish State Railways) in 1917. VR discontinued the passenger traffic in 1981 as unprofitable only a few months after the new highway from Helsinki to Porvoo opened. Freight trains ran on the route until 1990. Porvoon Museorautatie ry - Borgå Museijärnväg rf has arranged trips on the line since 1991. The trains run on saturdays or separately chartered. These "normal" trips are made with PMR's own Dm7 "lättähattu" DMUs in trains of 3-6 units. PMR is a group of enthusiasts who themselves keep the track in good condition. Due to new regulations on the Finnish network the trains can go only as fas as Kerava instead of the earlier Helsinki Central Railway Station.
Puuhamaa Amusement Park in Tervakoski
Puuhamaa operates old mining rail tractor to transport tourists.
Särkänniemi Amusement Park in Tampere
Sarkanniemi is probably the biggest amusement park in Finland. It too has several roller coasters including the thrilling roller coaster Tornado!
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Will be added later. There are a number of companies working on the rail with some smaller excavators and some smaller locomotives. Two of the by far largest are:
Destia Oy, MVH, Maanrakennus Veli Hyyrönen
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Finnish reference main page
Created for 4rail.net by John McKey and Andreas Ehnberg. Pictures by Hannu Luukannel, Hannu Peltola, Ilkka Siissalo, Sanna Siissalo, Stanislav Voronin and John McKey.
See also these pages!
Finnish Railroads Main Page, a great place to start browsing this section.
Finnish railroad organizations and railroad operators have their own pages, as well as the largest operator VR-Yhtyma and a newcomer to the field Junakalusto.
While much of the passenger traffic concentrates around the capital Helsinki, you might be interested in the roster pictures of VR-Yhtyma, Junakalusto and the city of Helsinki operator HKL. HKL operates the metro, buses and narrow gauge trams.
You might also like to see the Finnish Rolling Stock Classes Page or the Rolling Stock Heritage Classes Page!
The Finnish Infrastructure Page gives you details on the railroad projects of past, present and the future. Finnish Railroad History Page describes the beginnings of Finnish railroading.
Finnish location is quite challenging for the railroading, the European Union Railroading Page and the Rail Baltica Page shed light to this subject.
Russians in Finland Page brings you some of the exotic Russian models, many still dating back to the Soviet period.
Last but not least, Take a virtual tour with a Finnish heritage locomotive Vr1 / "Chicken". This story was brought to 4rail.net by Hannu Peltola.
Lets hunt some Wolfpacks! This is the special story page devoted to VR-Yhtyma Sr1 Wolves.