Finland - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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This list is based on the timetable period 10 December 2023 to 30 March 2024. Standard abbreviations are explained here.

Map references for each route entry are given in parentheses ( ). References prefixed "ERA-E" refer to the European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball. References prefixed "ERA-R" refer to the European Railway Atlas (Regional Series: Book 1) by M.G. Ball.

Obscure services

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

(ERA-E 6C3; ERA-R 10C5) FI24/1

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 the stops at Tampere and Seinäjoki. However such diversions are now very rare as the newer Edm sleeping cars need a generator van on non-electrified lines and these are stationed in the north of the country for the sleeper services to Kolari.

Lahti – Salpausselkä

(ERA-E 7A3; ERA-R 10C5) FI24/2

A short branch from a triangular junction west of Lahti runs to this simple platform north of the main line from Helsinki, and has been used in the past by trains to special events at Lahti Urheilukeskus (a sports arena). Trains have run direct from Helsinki for major Lahti Ski Games events which take place each winter. In 2017, specials ran on 25 February and 4 March. However, there has been no evidence of any more recent trains. This entry will therefore be deleted in the 2024/25 update unless such a train runs again.

Turku Platform 17

(ERA-E 7A3; ERA-R 10B4) FI24/3

While the line between (Helsinki -) Kupittaa and Turku is closed for engineering work, only platform 7 is in use at Turku. However, some trains from Tampere are booked to use a temporary platform 17 on the opposite side of the yards, about an 800m walk from station.

IC924 16:10 Tampere - Turku Satama
IC928 18:10 Tampere - Turku Satama

(Tampere -) Kokemäki - Rauma

(ERA-E 7A3; ERA-R 10A5-A4) FI24/4

VR ran midsummer specials to Rauma on two days in 2023 and will do so again on 20 and 23 June 2024. See Travel easily by train to summer events

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.


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) Three trains each way
7 Rovaniemi - Kemijärvi One overnight train each way from/to Helsinki.
7 Kemi (Laurila) - Tornio - Kolari Irregular service pattern. Check timetable
9 Pieksämäki - Joensuu Two trains a day each way
11 Haapamäki - Keuruu (- Jyvaskyla) Three trains a day each way
11 Haapamäki - Ähtäri (- Seinäjoki) Two trains a day each way
14 Joensuu - Nurmes Two trains a day each way
18 Ilsalmi - Ylivieska One train a day each way and one SX in one direction and SuX in the other.

Deletions since previous edition

2 Karjaa - Hanko Electrification work has finished and the service is restored

See also