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Finland – Rail Travel

Finland has an extensive rail network that covers most of the country, connecting major cities and smaller towns. The rail network is operated by the state-owned company VR, which operates passenger trains for both locals and tourists. In this article, we will explore the standard of rail travel in Finland, the different classes of service, where to find information on timetables and tickets, and more.

Overall Standard of Rail Travel in Finland

The overall standard of rail travel in Finland is excellent, with modern and comfortable trains that offer scenic views of the Finnish landscape. The trains are well-maintained, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The routes offer a mix of day trips and longer journeys, with stops at popular destinations such as Helsinki, Tampere, and Rovaniemi.

Classes of Rail Travel in Finland

There are three classes of rail travel in Finland: standard, comfort, and premium. The main differences between the classes are the level of comfort and amenities provided.

  • Standard class: This is the most basic class of service, with comfortable seats and access to a dining car where passengers can purchase food and drinks.

  • Comfort class: This class offers more comfortable seats with extra legroom, and complimentary coffee, tea, and water. Some trains also have a bistro car where passengers can purchase snacks and drinks.

  • Premium class: This class offers the most comfortable seats, with even more legroom, and complimentary coffee, tea, and water, as well as a hot meal served at your seat.

Finding Information on Rail Timetables and Ticket Prices

The best place to find information on rail timetables and ticket prices in Finland is on the VR website (https://www.vr.fi/cs/vr/en/frontpage). The website has a user-friendly interface and provides detailed information on the different train routes, schedules, and ticket prices.

Buying Rail Tickets and Reservations in Finland

Rail tickets and reservations can be purchased directly from the VR website, at train stations, or from authorized travel agents. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak travel periods, as trains can sell out quickly.

Contact details for VR are as follows:


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Types of Rail Tickets and Discounts

There are several types of rail tickets available in Finland, including one-way, round-trip, and multi-ride tickets. The prices vary depending on the class of service and the distance traveled.

VR also offers several discounts, including:

  • Student discounts: Students with a valid ID receive a 30% discount on standard and comfort class tickets, and a 50% discount on premium class tickets.
  • Senior citizen discounts: Passengers over the age of 65 are eligible for a 30% discount on standard and comfort class tickets, and a 50% discount on premium class tickets.
  • Children discounts: Children under the age of 7 travel for free. Children between the ages of 7 and 16 receive a 50% discount on standard and comfort class tickets, and a 30% discount on premium class tickets.

Rail Travel for Disabled Passengers

The rail network in Finland is generally accessible for disabled passengers. Most trains have wheelchair access, and the stations are equipped with ramps and elevators. VR also offers assistance for disabled passengers, including boarding and disembarking assistance, and the use of an onboard wheelchair.

Underground Trains or Metros in Urban Areas

Finland has two metro systems in urban areas: the Helsinki Metro and the Tampere Tramway.

Helsinki Metro

The Helsinki Metro is a rapid transit system that serves the capital city of Helsinki and its surrounding areas. It has two lines, covering a total distance of 35.9 kilometers, with a total of 25 stations. The metro runs from 5:30 am to midnight on weekdays, and from 6:30 am to midnight on weekends.

The Helsinki Metro is modern and efficient, with air conditioning and Wi-Fi onboard. The trains run frequently, with a maximum wait time of 2-4 minutes during peak hours. The metro is also affordable, with a one-way ticket costing between 2.80-5.50 euros, depending on the length of the journey.

Tampere Tramway

The Tampere Tramway is a tramway system that serves the city of Tampere, in southern Finland. It is currently under construction, with the first line expected to open in 2021. The tramway will have 23 stops and cover a distance of 15 kilometers.

The Tampere Tramway is expected to be modern and efficient, with air conditioning and Wi-Fi onboard. The trams will run frequently, with a maximum wait time of 7.5 minutes during peak hours. The tramway is also expected to be affordable, with a one-way ticket expected to cost around 3 euros.

In conclusion, rail travel in Finland offers a comfortable and scenic way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes. There are three classes of service available, with options for every budget. Information on timetables and ticket prices can be found on the VR website, and tickets can be purchased online or at train stations. Discounts are available for students, senior citizens, and children. The rail network in Finland is generally accessible for disabled passengers, with assistance available upon request. The Helsinki Metro and Tampere Tramway provide modern and efficient modes of transport in urban areas.


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