The Passenger Line From Helsinki to Kajaani

The distance from Helsinki to Kajaani is a straight line as the crow flies, but this does not take account of the curvature of the earth. Moreover, the journey time can be considerably longer if stops are made along the way.

Tickets must be purchased before boarding trains, but on rural lines (1524 mm gauge) they can be bought on board from train staff at a slightly higher price.

The Railways of Finland

The Finnish railway system is built to the broad gauge of 1,524 mm (5 ft), which differs from the standard European rail gauge of 1435 mm (4 ft 11+27/32 in). The network carries passenger trains, freight, and some commuter services. The rail lines are powered by 25 kV AC electric power. The maximum speed for passenger trains is 220 km/h.

The majority of Finnish rail traffic is inland-oriented, with only a small amount of cross-border international traffic. The main hub is Helsinki Central Station, which features 19 tracks in a dead-end configuration around a large historic station building.

Tickets must be purchased in advance from station machines, though on-board purchases are possible on regional trains and some main line trains. Outside of Helsinki suburban areas, tickets can also be purchased from train conductors or at ticket offices in city centers.


The city of Seinajoki is a thriving business and cultural centre in the southern Ostrobothnia province. It is known for its Alvar Aalto architecture, festivals, variety of sports activities and a favourable attitude towards entrepreneurship.

From a junction just before this city a long connecting line skirts one side of the vast Ulea Jarvi lake and runs parallel to the Russian frontier until reaching Viipuri, where it joins the main south coast line.

Travelling to and from Seinajoki by train is relatively easy, with the fastest Pendolino trains taking less than three hours from Helsinki, Oulu or Jyvaskyla and over an hour from Tampere or Vaasa. Tickets can be purchased on most VR trains from station machines, or – if traveling in the metropolitan area – on board.


The city has a wide range of public transport including buses, trams, metro and ferries. Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) offers Mobility as a Service [1] – the Netflix of transportation – for a monthly fee HSL provides an all-you-can-ride ticket valid on metro, buses, ferries and suburban rail networks around Greater Helsinki.

Long distance buses are clean, modern and comfortable with air conditioning, reclining seats and bathrooms. Many buses feature power and free Wi-Fi.


With modern, comfortable buses, trains and flights running across the country, long distance travel is a convenient option for getting around. Most buses have air conditioning, reclining seats and seat belts while many include free power outlets and Wi-Fi. Buses may also be able to take luggage trailers, and some offer extra storage space for sports equipment.

The railway network in Finland is principally of inland significance, with through international trains only on the line eastwards from Helsinki. However, the country abounds in fine steel bridges that connect the towns and villages scattered across this wilderness of thousand lakes and wild northern forests.

The Transport Agency website allows point-to-point journey planning, with downloadable PDF timetables for long distance and regional services. Juna-aikataulut (Juni / Rail timetables) gives combined PDFs of all long distance routes with their traditional table numbers, while the link to rail maps offers detailed maps at both national and region level.


Kouvola, a city of nearly 88,000 inhabitants in southern Finland, has a humid continental climate and is inland from the coast. The railway line from Helsinki to Kouvola and the main highway pass through the city, making it a busy transportation junction.

In the town’s center everything is within walking distance, and most of the city is a pedestrian zone. There are also low-cost expressbus services to other cities in Finland.

At around 8:24am the conductor and a steward spotted that the leading car was speeding towards track 13, and realized they were about to experience a runaway train crash. The onboard system had registered a sudden breakdown of the 1500V electrical system, opening a switch that can be compared to pulling the plug on the locomotive.

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