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