Trains in Finland

Trains in Finland are a great way to explore the country’s vast expanses of unspoiled natural scenery. Many routes pass through Helsinki, offering convenient connections to the city center in under 30 minutes each way.

The state-owned rail company, VR, operates all passenger trains in Finland. This monopoly has a few benefits but also comes with higher prices.

Trains in Finland

The well-developed railway network in Finland is a great way to get around the country. It offers a variety of schedules and routes to suit any travel plan.

Choose high-speed Pendolino trips between major cities for quick cross-country journeys or opt for InterCity trains for more comfortable rides with stops at small stations. Sleeper trains offer comfy airplane-style seats or sleeping berths upstairs (for a higher price).

Almost every city has its own train station, and connections are easy to find between them. All passenger trains are operated by the state-owned company VR, which has a monopoly on passenger services. However, the system is slowly opening up to competition. Value tickets are valid for 80-110 minutes and allow transfers between different modes of transport.

InterCity trains

With a network that covers most of the country, train travel is one of the best ways to see Finland. Vast expanses of natural scenery are punctuated by enchanting cities, such as Helsinki. It is also home to a rich and intriguing history, which is explored at the National Museum of Finland in downtown Helsinki.

Most long-distance routes are operated by InterCity trains. They have two-story modern carriages and offer a wide range of amenities. The trains are also equipped with wheelchair-accessible toilets and free WiFi in all carriages. The seats are spacious and comfortable, with a choice between first and second class.

Some short routes near Helsinki are served by commuter trains. They are not as fast as InterCity trains and make more stops.


The long-distance public transport system in Finland is modern, safe and punctual with routes all over the country. Buses are air-conditioned, with reclining seats and bathrooms and many include free power outlets and Wi-Fi. Prices vary widely depending on the company and route, and specials are often only published on Finnish versions of websites.

Most long-distance routes are operated by InterCity trains which have two story modern carriages. The fastest service in the country are Pendolinos which have a tilt mechanism that allows them to travel faster than standard trains. Commuter trains are single story and usually run every X minutes on weekdays.

The national railway company in Finland is VR. The monopoly has some advantages but it also means that ticket prices are higher.

Commuter trains

Train travel is an easy, convenient and environmentally friendly way to explore Finland. The country has a well-developed train network that connects all major cities and towns. The railway system is controlled by VR (Valtion Rautatiet) and the freight operator Karelian Trains – which is owned by both VR and Russian Railways.

Commuter trains run between Helsinki and nearby cities. Their schedules are very regular and the fares are lower than InterCity and Pendolinos. Seat reservation is not available on commuter trains. However, on normal priced tickets you can upgrade your seat for a small fee.

The commuter rail network consists of seven alphabetically identified services that run on four different lines. All of these services terminate at Helsinki main station. Travel times to places such as Seinajoki, Oulu and Vaasa will be accelerated.

Railway traffic in Finland

Train travel is a popular way to explore Finland. It’s punctual, comfortable, and provides an opportunity to take in the country’s beautiful scenery. Whether you’re traveling alone or with family and friends, there are many different types of trains available to suit your needs.

From the capital Helsinki, there are direct daily trains to Rovaniemi. Through trains are also available to Turku and Oulu. If you’re traveling long-distance, consider booking a sleeper car, which includes an overnight cabin and shower.

Finland has a very self-contained railway system, with an amazing length of main lines, even in a country less than a twelfth the size of thickly populated little Belgium. For train and history buffs, the railway system of this idiosyncratic country is a wonder to behold.

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