null Ministry of Transport and VR negotiate purchase of passenger rail services – supply of train services remains at least unchanged

Ministry of Transport and VR negotiate purchase of passenger rail services – supply of train services remains at least unchanged

Press release 18.02.2020 17.41 fi sv en

Train on railway bridge in Savonlinna (Photo: Viktor Karasev/Shutterstock)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications and VR will start negotiations on a new purchase of passenger rail services for the post-2020 situation. The current contract for operating rail transport services and the decision on rail transport services under public service obligation will be in force until December 2020. Although discussions are only just beginning, the next purchase package will include at least the current supply of train services. Decisions on purchases are to be made later this year.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications spends some EUR 30 million on purchasing rail transport services from VR; this consists mainly of Southern Finland’s regional rail services on the Sm2 and Sm4 trains and rail bus services on quieter long-distance routes.

In addition, VR operates unprofitable traffic in accordance with the service obligation, including regular night-time traffic in Lapland. The purchase of passenger rail services complements VR's market-based supply, which accounts for the majority of rail transport. 

The contract to be negotiated will simplify the contract arrangement and improve the quantity and quality of services. 

Rail transport is an important part of transport package

Efficient rail transport services are essential for facilitating everyday mobility and extending the commuter areas. They are also a significant contributing factor for Finland’s competitiveness. In addition, moving transport increasingly to the rail is one of the means to reduce emissions in the transport sector.

Infrastructure capacity for possible additional shifts will be reserved in April 2020.

All current timetables can be found at vr.fi

Inquiries:

Elina Thorström, Director of Unit, Ministry of Transport and Communications,
tel. +358 295 34 2393,

Jani von Zansen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Transport and Communications,
tel. +358 295 34 2060

Topi Simola, Director of Passenger Transport, VR
Juho Hannkainen, Planning Director, VR
Contacts via the VR Group media desk, tel. +358 294 34 7123