Passenger rail transport opens to competition

News article 31.08.2017 16.38 fi en

Photo: Rodeo/Juha Tuomi

Passenger rail transport opens to competition in Finland. The reform aims to increase the competitiveness of railway transport and the volume and share of rail services in the future.

VR will no longer have exclusive right to the provision of rail transport services in the Finnish rail network and other operators can enter the passenger rail transport market as well.

Opening to competition will take place in stages.

The opening to competition will start with regional transport in Southern Finland

Transport services will be tendered out based on a concession contract model. The opening to competition will start with regional transport in Southern Finland. The objective is to have the tendering process completed and services up and running in the summer 2022. The intention is that transport services based on the new contracts would be in place throughout the country by June 2026.

Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Helsinki Region Transport (HRT) arranged an information event on competitive tendering of railway passenger transport services 4 October 2017.

Three new state-owned companies

To ensure access to the market, three state-owned companies will be separated from VR Group Ltd: a rolling stock company, a maintenance company and a real estate company. The role and competitiveness of VR Group Ltd as a state-owned rail company will be safeguarded as part of the restructuring.

EU works towards open market access

Under the EU’s fourth railway package, Member States must ensure open market access across the EU as of 3 December 2019. In most EU Member States, national passenger rail transport has been opened to competition.


Ministry of Transport and Communications: Elina Thorström, tel. +358 295342 393,

(Page updated 12.10.2017)