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Minister Vehviläinen: Fast rail service brings St. Petersburg close

Minister Vehviläinen: Fast rail service brings St. Petersburg close

Press release 13.12.2010 12.05 fi en

'Finland and Russia are entering a new era with the opening of the fast rail service. Preparations for the project started in 1994, and today we have the pleasure of celebrating the completion of this great venture. The fast rail service brings the metropolitan areas of Helsinki and St. Petersburg closer together, enables faster movement of people, and benefits tourism and business life, in particular,' Minister of Transport Ms Anu Vehviläinen says about the opening of the fast rail service between Helsinki and St. Petersburg.

'In both countries, preparations need to be made for larger passenger numbers, and services supporting tourism need to be created. Tourism is important for both cities, and a majority of Finns have yet to discover St. Petersburg as a travel destination,' Minister Vehviläinen says.

'On behalf of the Government, I wish to extend my sincerest thanks to all parties who participated in carrying out this project, the authorities of both countries, operators, planners and contractors. I wish the fast rail connection the best of success.

Minister Vehviläinen boards the train on its inaugural run at Vainikkala station. During the journey, she will discuss current transport issues between Finland and Russia with her colleague Igor Levitin, the Transport Minister of Russia.

Further information: Mr Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 500 787 742 and Ms Minna Kivimäki, Director-General, tel. +358 40 754 9871.