Planning of eastern rail link takes off, documents to establish company signed

Press release 29.03.2022 11.45 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Photo: Laura Kotila/Prime Minister's Office)

A limited company is being established for the planning of the eastern rail link. The documents concerning the establishment of the company, East Railway Ltd, have been signed. The State of Finland owns 51% of the company.

Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications, is pleased that the planning of the eastern rail link can now begin.

“With the project company for the eastern rail link, the planning of three major rail projects is now underway in Finland. We will develop the vitality and competitiveness of Finland as a whole together with the municipalities and cities. By developing rail traffic, we strengthen sustainable growth,” says Minister Harakka.

The company will be responsible for the planning of the rail traffic infrastructure related to the high-speed Lentorata–Porvoo–Kouvola rail link up to the construction stage. In addition, the company may carry out or commission studies to enable the construction of the project and to identify the benefits, disadvantages and other effects associated with the project.

The partners of the State in the project company are Porvoo, Kouvola, Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Kuopio, Mikkeli, Joensuu, Imatra, Pieksämäki, Kajaani, Iisalmi, Siilinjärvi, Lieksa, Kitee, Nurmes, Lapinlahti, Suonenjoki, Mäntyharju, Askola, Parikkala, Taipalsaari, Rautjärvi, Lapinjärvi and Myrskylä.

The company’s Board of Directors has 11 members. The Chair of the Board is Lieutenant General Arto Räty, Senior Advisor at Miltton. He is a former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and has also worked as Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations of the Finnish Defence Forces and as a member of energy company Fortum’s executive management team. The Vice-chair is Arto Pohjonen, M.Sc.(Eng.), eMBA, former CEO of Destia Ltd and Lujatalo Oy, among other companies. At the moment, he is a professional board member, chair of the board of directors in four different companies and a partner at the housing developer Newil and Bau Oy.

The other Board members are Annina Peisa, Anu Ojala, Katriina Vainio, Piia Karjalainen, Marita Toikka, Silja Hyvärinen, Jarmo Pirhonen, Jukka-Pekka Ujula and Kimmo Jarva.

“It is really great that the state and a large number of cities and municipalities have together started to promote the eastern rail link project. It connects to two similar projects that have already started. The development of the rail links will strengthen the vitality of the cities and municipalities participating in the project and, when completed, will also reduce emissions from transport. I look forward to the start of planning,” says Arto Räty, Chair of the Board.

Significant impact on regions’ vitality and accessibility

“The eastern rail link would connect Porvoo to the railway network as a new railway city and strengthen the city’s growth potential as a hub for Eastern Uusimaa. Fast services to Helsinki and Vantaa would integrate Porvoo and Eastern Uusimaa in the development of the metropolitan area and its commuter belt," says Jukka-Pekka Ujula, Mayor of Porvoo.

“The establishment of the project company has been a unique collaboration effort by half the country. We are promoting the preconditions for rail transport in Eastern Finland and controlling future greenhouse gas emissions at the same time,” says Jarmo Pirhonen, Mayor of Kuopio.

“The start of the design of the eastern rail link brings us closer to the realisation of the rail link every day. This is a far-reaching project that is a good match for the goals for transport and regional development in Eastern Finland,” says Marita Toikka, Mayor of Kouvola.

What comes next?

The shareholders will pay the subscription prices for the shares, after which a notification of the establishment of the companies will be filed with the Finnish Trade Register. A limited company is officially established once it has been registered in the Trade Register.

Once established, the company will organise and start operations.

The realisation of the Lentorata rail link between Helsinki Airport and the national railway network is a prerequisite for the realisation of the Lentorata-Porvoo-Kouvola rail link. Promoting the planning of Lentorata is the responsibility of a separate company, Finnish Rail Ltd.


Requests for interviews with Minister Timo Harakka: Susanna Niinivaara, Communications Director, tel. +358 400 816187,

Miikka Rainiala, Director of Unit, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50571 7751,

East Railway Ltd, Arto Räty, Chair of the Board, tel. +358 50 411 7384,

City of Kouvola

Mayor Marita Toikka, tel. +358 20 615 3100,

Petteri Portaankorva, Development Director, tel. +358 20 615 1287,

City of Kuopio

Mayor Jarmo Pirhonen, tel. +358 44 718 2790,

City of Porvoo

Mayor Jukka-Pekka Ujula, tel. +358 40 352 2033,