Finland - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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This list is based on the timetable period 15 December 2019 to 14 June 2020. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information.

Map references for each route entry are given in parentheses ( ). References prefixed "ERA" refer to the European Railway Atlas Nordic Region, Regional Series 2016, by M.G.Ball.

Obscure services

Turku - Artukainen, HK Areena platform

(ERA 10A4) FI20/1

The first 4 km of the Uusikaupunki line has been used to reach this simple platform (which is actually on the beginning of the Pernon telakka branch) by special trains for events at the Gatorade Center (formerly HK Areena). See the Turku Areenat website for details of events. However, it is understood that such use is now very rare, if at all.

Tampere avoiding line: Lempäälä (Tampere Viinikka) – Orivesi (Tampere Järvensivu)

(ERA 10B5) FI20/2

This south to east curve links the Helsinki and Jyväskylä lines. On occasions when overnight trains to and from northern Finland are diverted via Haapamäki, because of engineering work on the main line via Parkano, they usually run via the avoiding line and reverse in and out of Tampere station. This is to avoid reversing the formation of the trains, particularly those carrying cars. Use of the avoiding line normally occurs between stops at Tampere and Seinäjoki. However such diversions are now very rare as the newer Edm sleeping cars need a generator van to power the heating and air conditioning on non-electrified lines. The generator vans are normally stationed in the north of the country for the sleeper services to Kolari.

Lahti – Salpausselkä

(ERA 10C5) FI20/3

A short branch from a triangular junction west of Lahti runs to this simple platform north of the main line from Helsinki, and is used by trains to special events at Lahti Urheilukeskus (a sports arena). Trains run direct from Helsinki for major Lahti Ski events which take place each winter (in 2017, specials certainly ran on 25 February and 4 March). Generally speaking, the branch sees several trains each year for significant events, most of which are open to the public. Information about trains to Salpausselkä is usually available from the event organisers and train operators, which are usually preservation societies or rail tour companies.

If the train comes directly from Helsinki or Riihimäki it uses the west curve. Conversely, if the train comes from the east or stops at Lahti station it uses the east curve. The branch is not electrified and has no loop, so locomotive hauled trains must either be propelled in one direction or have a second locomotive.

Seinäjoki - Kaskinen

(ERA 5A1/A2) FI20/4

In recent years a day excursion operated by Haapamäki Museum Locomotive Society (HMVY) has run on this 112km branch in October for the annual Herring Market in Kaskinen. It ran in 2019. The date and times may be found on the Heritage Trains website. The Report on low used lines stated that maintenance of this line would end on 31 December 2019, but it is now thought the line will survive until the end of 2020.

Riihimäki avoiding line: Riihimäki Tavara - Riihimäki Arolampi

(ERA 7A2) FI20/5

This north <=> east curve links the Tampere and Lahti lines, bypassing Riihimäki station.

SO IC201 Kouvola - 09:41 Lahti - Tampere
SO IC202 Tampere - 15:19 Hämeenlinna - Kouvola

Other freight lines

Occasional specials are operated over other lines - particularly in the summer - by preservation societies. An annual listing is produced by Resiina magazine and the Heritage Railway Association of Finland, and available on the Heritage Trains website.


See Finland - Tram services over obscure routes

Other sparse services

The following lines have few trains (relative to service levels generally in this country) - fewer than four trains each way on at least three days a week - or do not run each weekday

1, 8 and 9 Turku - Turku satama (harbour)
7 Rovaniemi - Kemijärvi
7 Kemi (Laurila) - Tornio - Kolari
9 Pieksämäki - Joensuu
11 Haapamäki - Jyvaskyla
11 Haapamäki - Seinäjoki
14 Joensuu - Nurmes
18 Ilsalmi - Ylivieska

Deletions since previous edition

11 Orivesi - Haapamäki Better service
17 Keuruu - Jyvaskyla Table abolished
17 Seinäjoki - Haapamäki Table abolished

See also