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Nov 09, 2017

First Vice-President of Russian Railways Alexander Misharin and Chairperson of VR Group Ltd Rolf Jansson discuss bilateral cooperation

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Russian Railways and JSC VR-Group Ltd (Finnish Railways) have held their annual meeting to discuss issues relating to the Russian-Finnish direct rail service.

The meeting was held in St. Petersburg on 8 November 2017.

Alexander Misharin, First Vice President of Russian Railways, led the Russian delegation, while Rolf Jansson, Chairperson of the VR Group Ltd was in charge of the Finnish group.

The parties discussed joint activities in the field of passenger and freight traffic and summed up the results of the cooperation between Russian and Finnish railways in 2017.

Rail passenger traffic between the two countries in the 10 months from January to the end of October 2017 increased by 23.7% compared to the same period last year.

In total, more than 468,000 passengers travelled between Russian and Finland, including on the Allegro trains running between St. Petersburg and Helsinki, which saw an increase of 25% to 411,000 passengers, a new record.

The volume of freight transported across the Russian-Finnish border crossings in the 10 months of this year to the end of October exceeded last year’s level by 8%.

The participants in the meeting also noted the need to reduce the travel time of the Leo Tolstoy branded train on the Moscow-Helsinki route by resuming the procedure of carrying out border controls while in transit and accelerating train speeds in Finland.

Measures planned to improve passenger comfort and service on the Allegro service in 2018-2019 include a project to modernise the trains.

A significant result from the meeting was an agreement to hold joint training between VR-Group Ltd and Russian Railway specialists in 2018. The Corporate University of Russian Railways has specially developed such a programme with a view to developing cooperation in the field of personnel training.

Concluding the annual meeting, Alexander Misharin, First Vice-President of Russian Railways, noted the positive results of cooperation with Finnish Railways.

“The results of our partnerships are the positive dynamics we have seen in both freight and passenger traffic, the increased volume of transit shipments from Russia to Europe via Finland and the launch of container trains along the East - West International Transport Corridor. A particularly interesting prospect regarding future cooperation is the possibility of organising freight transport along the Finland – Russia – Iran route and a Moscow-Helsinki high-speed passenger service,” said Alexander Misharin.

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