The Passenger Line in Finland

Several bus companies operate on the route. Look for high-speed Pendolino trips between Helsinki and the big hubs, or cozy InterCity rides.

Nightly passenger trains leave most tracks free for freight traffic, so there are good connections to cities in Lapland and Finland’s mainland.

The main line starts at the Helsinki, Veturitie 9 railway station. Pori railway station is a few minutes walk away.


In Finland trains offer a tranquil space for contemplation as endless pine trees and tidy villages of white weatherboard houses roll past. Most are modern, safe and punctual, with air conditioning, reclining seats, free power and bathrooms. Check online for specials (look for the words Tarjoukset, Saasto or Erikoishinta).

The main line is governed by state enterprise VR, with services to many cities and towns throughout the country. The network is built on a broad 1,524-mm (5 ft) track gauge and runs through a wide variety of landscapes, from the coastal towns to icy Lapland.

An extension project to add tracks between Kerava and Riihimaki has increased capacity, allowing four hourly commuter trains in each direction and making the line less vulnerable to disruptions. The extension also allows long-distance trains to bypass commuter tracks, reducing travel times for passengers. The plan is to have the track doubling completed in 2024. A second phase will include improving traffic operating points at Tikkurila and Jarvenpaa.


In recent years the main line has been upgraded and enlarged. The addition of a western track in Pasila has significantly improved traffic on the line, and increased capacity for passenger trains. A major improvement has been the construction of block signalling on the Helsinki-Pasila section, which reduces signal intervals and improves the reliability of train services.

The national bus company Matkahuolto operates frequent buses between the capital and most large towns and there are also good long-distance connections with the rest of Finland. In most of the country, buses are cheaper and sometimes quicker than train travel.

Within the Helsinki suburban area tickets must be bought in advance; on regional and rural lines tickets can be purchased on board (with the help of train conductors or from railbus ticket machines) but only with credit cards. Outside of the metropolitan area tickets can be purchased only from station machines.


Several companies offer point-to-point long-distance journey planners. Enter your start and end points to get results including flights, train and bus connections – and save your regular routes for future searches.

The cheapest way to reach cities and towns in Finland is by bus, though trips are slow as buses have to adhere to the country’s speed limits. Regular vakiovuoro buses stop frequently and are cheaper than pricier pikavuoro express buses between bigger cities.

A new Helsinki – Turku high speed line is planned, and work is underway to double-track sections of the existing Helsinki – Riihimaki railway. A dedicated company will oversee planning for the “One Hour Train” project, while a separate organisation will manage plans for a new Riihimaki – Tampere high speed line. Both projects involve a substantial investment from the Finnish government and local governments. The broad 1,524 mm gauge railway system is owned by state-owned VR. The network covers 9,216 km (5,727 mi). Passenger train services radiate from Helsinki and are operated by VR.


Regular taxis can be hailed on the street but it’s often cheaper to book in advance using an app or at one of Helsinki’s many taxi ranks. These are typically located in busy sightseeing areas or near major transport hubs such as the central train station and Tikkurila airport. Prices are heavily regulated and drivers are not prone to overcharging.

You can check current prices on the Finnish Transport Agency’s point-to-point long-distance journey planner. Just enter your destination and either your departure or desired arrival time for results that include flights as well as rail and bus connections. The site is available in English and also allows you to save your favourite routes for future searches.

The traditional Taksi Helsinki taxi company has good cars and friendly drivers. The premium brands Lahitaksi and Fixutaxi also have a solid reputation. It’s easy to spot their cars as they are all yellow and have the company logo on the car door.

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