The Helsinki-Turku Passenger Line

One of the most popular ways to get around Helsinki and Turku is by train. The Helsinki-Turku train takes only 2 hours and has plenty of onboard facilities.

Located in southwest Finland, Turku is a historic city with a medieval castle and cathedral. It also has a thriving modern arts scene and lively nightlife.


This is a project to create a commuter train line between Helsinki and Turku. It would replace the existing 81-seat Sm5 trains with new trains with bi-directional capacity and more frequent intervals. The new trains are based on the Artic XL trams that are already in use in Helsinki. HSL is currently preparing to order new 30-40 trains, as well as a new depot at Ilmala.

Crosswise connections are a problem for the entire Helsinki area, and this project would have helped address them. In particular, it would have improved the time between Kauklahti and Leppavaara by about 15 minutes, and reduced routine delays on the route.

The drop railroad gets its name from the teardrop-shaped tunnel that would be built beneath Pasila station. The line would have been run by a mix of commuter and regional trains. This would have allowed the city to free up rail space for long-distance services to Turku, as well as providing a more convenient option for people living in the southwestern suburbs of Espoo.


Almost every city in Finland has a railway station, and most have a variety of services. The main stations offer ticket counters, left luggage, food stores, newsagents and restaurants. Some have a kids’ playroom or free WiFi. Designed by architect Eliel Saarinen, Helsinki’s main station is a popular attraction in its own right.

Most trains are Intercity (IC) trains, modern double-decker trainsets with seats in Eko (2nd) and Ekstra (1st) class. They drive at speeds between 160 and 200 km/h, depending on the route.

From Turku, passenger trains travel to Helsinki and to the north via Toijala towards Tampere. There are also connections to Paimio, Loimaa and Naantali.

Commuter line

The Commuter line reduces journey times between Helsinki and Turku, while improving connections to local transport. In addition, it strengthens the Finnish connection to the European railway network. The construction of the line will benefit 1.5 million commuters in south Finland. However, the planned line will cause disruptions in several areas. For example, residents of the Lukkarinmaki area have opposed the line because it will pass through their homes.

Taking point-to-point train tickets to Turku lets you explore the redeveloped Kakola prison and its free funicular, as well as wander around the quaint city centre. The city’s waterbus and archipelago cruises offer other opportunities to explore its history and natural environment. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities at Kansanpuisto beach, which is just a short walk from the Foli waterbus stop. Alternatively, you can enjoy the sea views from a Viking Line cruise ship that offers power outlets at every seat and WiFi for all passengers.

High-speed line

The planning of a high-speed line linking Helsinki, Turku and Kouvola has passed from the transport infrastructure agency to a special project body called Turun Tunnin Juna (roughly translated as ‘Turku one-hour train’). A separate company will plan the infrastructure works for the 300 km/h connection between Helsinki and Kouvola.

The main railway operator is the state-owned VR, which runs services on 7,225 km (4,489 mi) of track. Most passenger trains radiate out of Helsinki Central, serving major cities like Tampere, Turku and Oulu, as well as dozens of smaller towns and villages in the countryside.

Most passenger rail services require advance booking, and tickets must be purchased before boarding. Regional and rural lines offer ticket machines, and long distance trains have conductors or on-board staff to sell tickets. On Pendolino trains, there are also special areas for passengers travelling with pets or with allergies. The trains have large windows that allow passengers to enjoy the stunning Finnish scenery.

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