Iisalmi to Ylivieska Expands Passenger Line in Finland

Ylivieska lies at the main north-south railway junction in Finland. This is the point at which all trains to and from Oulu and Rovaniemi stop. It is also the point where the line splits.

Finland has no great need for giant express passenger engines, corresponding to the “Flying Scotsman” or “Cock o’ the North” in Britain. Its modern standard 4-6-0 locomotives are hardly more than average in size and power.


The heaviest passenger traffic routes in Finland are those from Helsinki and Tampere. A great deal of capacity is needed to handle these routes. However, growth in passenger traffic is expected to be greatest on corridors that are not as heavily used as these two major routes.

By the time of the formation of the Finnish Republic in 1917 lines were commissioned connecting all the major cities and ports in Finland. It was a difficult task to carry the thin steel tracks through the dense forests but the project progressed steadily.

A short branch from a triangular junction west of Lahti to the simple platform at Salpausselka is used by trains serving special events at the nearby Lahti Urheilukeskus. It is not normally open to the public but information may be obtained from event organisers or train tour companies. This line is also used by overnight trains to northern Finland when engineering work on the main line via Parkano causes them to divert through Haapamaki.


Pasila is the most accessible place in Helsinki, and its development as a modern commercial district will continue to boost the city’s economy. The number of jobs will double to about 50,000, and the area is also home to many public services. The new commercial space will also increase the diversity of housing and the availability of services in the area.

In Finland’s largely unpopulated woodlands, the thin steel lines of railway tracks pierce the trees like arrows, linking isolated towns and providing for trade and communication. The country’s main line runs north-to-south from Tornea in the north to Haparanda in the south, and through international trains run between Stockholm and Helsinki.

The railway is a vital part of Finland’s infrastructure, and its capacity is a key service level factor. Different viewpoints on the sufficiency of capacity are compiled by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, and they are updated twice a year. The agency publishes the situational picture of the network in its annual reports.


Iisalmi is an important railway station on the Finnish main line network operated by VR. Its 142-kilometer track connects to Helsinki and Oulu. The station is also served by several express trains. The town is home to Genelec, which manufactures active monitors and loudspeakers used in recording studios. It is also the headquarters of the company Profile Vehicles, which manufactures ambulances and police cars.

A line from the east runs to Kajaani, skirting one side of the Russian frontier. It also passes through the beautiful Ulea Jarvi, which is the largest lake in Finland. It is also the site of a major battle between Sweden and Russia in the 18th century.

The railway line is surrounded by beautiful forests and pristine lakes. There are plenty of activities and sightseeing opportunities for visitors. The town is also a popular tourist destination for skiing, fishing and swimming. It is home to the Iisalmi Museum and a number of art galleries.


The increased throughput capacity enables four hourly commuter trains in both directions between Helsinki and Riihimaki. Furthermore, the line is less vulnerable to disruptions and can be combined with long-distance trains without the need for bypasses.

From Tornea on the southern border, the main line runs south along the tideless coast of the Gulf of Bothnia for eighty-two miles. It then strikes upwards towards the Arctic Circle at Rovaniemi, and east to the industrial town of Oulu. From there, the main line continues to the city of Tampere.

You can find the timetables for this line and other train services in Finland using HSL Journey Planner. The timetables are based on real-time train traffic data. Please note that the service is subject to weather conditions and delays can occur. The train schedules are also influenced by the COVID-19 epidemic and recommendations for reducing contact between people. Therefore, the number of passengers is varying from day to day.

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