Ylivieska on the Passenger Line in Finland

Despite the smallness of its country, Finland has one of Europe’s most self-contained railway systems. The State system runs over 3,400 miles of 5 ft gauge track.

This is largely due to the generous dimensions of the Finnish construction gauge, which enables locomotives and coaches to be built with comparatively large cabs and spacious interiors.


Kyosti Kallion rahaston henkiloikenteessä kuljetettiin myös jo 1940- ja 1950-luvulla myosissa saartoissa Hk5:sta. Näin liikkeessä tarkoituksena on toimittaa kahden henkilojunapari.

Agriculture and animal husbandry formerly constituted the main source of income in Ylivieska, but their role has diminished during recent decades due to the development of industry and services. Ylivieska is home to about 30 industrial enterprises, some of them internationally recognized in their respective niche markets.

The municipality’s natural landscape is typical of Ostrobothnia: the main water body, the Kalajoki, flows through Ylivieska from southeast to northwest. Flat farmland spreads out on either side of it. Religiously, Ylivieska is home to the evangelical Pentecostal movement, Old Lestadianism, and pacifism. The Ylivieska congregation of the Vanhollislestadian church has around 600 members. The Ylivieska Pentecostal church has about 100 members.


Ylivieska lies on Finland’s main north-south railway, and all trains going from southern Finland to Oulu or Rovaniemi stop here. These are standard Finnish expresses, which run at a maximum speed of fifty miles an hour.

Across the vast forests of Finland stretches this thin steel line of tracks, connecting widely separated towns and villages. Compared to Norway and Sweden, there are no mighty engines handling heavy freight traffic on stupendous lines completed only after Herculean efforts, but this country has one of Europe’s most self-contained railway systems.

Picture: Class Dm12 railbus at Hanko station, in VR’s new green and white livery. Photo by Ilkka Siissalo.


This is the busiest section of the Finnish railway system, used by commuter trains to Helsinki from Riihimaki and Lahti as well as long-distance services to Tampere and the new Jyvaskyla line. Due to its high volume of traffic it was becoming a bottleneck for the network, creating vulnerability in train schedules.

At this junction a branch runs southwards to the coast at Lovisa and a main line strikes eastwards towards Kouvola. This last part passes through the so called Porkkala enclave which was rented by Finland from Russia in the Cold War, creating a military area and cutting off the Helsinki to Turku main line.

The small station of Salpausselka is served by a short branch from this triangular junction. It has been used by special trains for events at the Lahti Urheilukeskus sports arena, but these services have not been running for a while now.


A simple platform north of a triangular junction is served by trains to special events at Lahti Urheilukeskus (a sports arena). This branch has seen direct services from Helsinki during the winter and is used occasionally by preservation societies.

Commuter trains marked as a night train here run at night, and use an extra carriage which is not available on day trains. Commuter trains that are not marked as night trains do not have a night carriage, and usually run at normal speed.

There are plans to build a new line from the Airport Line to Porvoo and Kouvola which would reduce travel times by 27 kilometres. However, the state owned monopoly VR has been reluctant to open routes that would compete with its bus network.


Ylivieska is a rapidly growing logistics hub and the most important railway station in the region. The city is also a regional shopping destination, with numerous car dealerships. The town is also served by buses.

A short branch from a junction west of Lahti runs to a simple platform north of the main line. This is used by trains to special events at the Lahti Urheilukeskus arena. The branch may see additional trains each year for the Lahti Ski Games.

The East Railway would improve connections in Eastern Finland and reduce travel times between Helsinki and Kouvola. It would also increase passenger numbers by about 9% between Helsinki and Kouvola. In addition, the new line could help to connect Kouvola with Saint Petersburg. This would also allow for faster and cheaper connections with the rest of Europe.

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