Joint Russian-Finnish Railroad proposed

The October Railway and Finnish Railways (VR-Group Ltd) may create a joint Russian-Finnish company to offer international passenger service. According to the Public-Relations Centre of October, this possibility was put forward by Henry Kuitunen, the general director of VR-Group Ltd, during a meeting in Saint Petersburg about high-speed rail service between Russia and Finland. In this connection, it was noted by October, private companies may become part of Russian-Finnish communications.

It may be recalled that changes in passenger service are part of the reform of the Russian railroad industry. State railroads will continue to operate suburban lines, but long-distance passenger travel will be handled by private companies.

Three trains currently travel between Russia and Finland - N33/34 Repin, N35/36 Sibelius and N32/31 Lev Tolstoi. To shorten travel time, Russian and Finnish railroads have undertaken a number of projects. Thus, the Helsinki-Vainikkala section is being 'straightened': a direct track is being built to connect the Kerava and Laxti stations and major improvements are being made to the line connecting the Laxti and Luumaki stations. It is expected that realization of the fast passenger service will increase traffic between Russia and Finland by 1.5 to 2 times.

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