A memorandum of cooperation was signed between Russian Railways and Finnish railways for freight and passenger traffic in 2003.
Containertrans Scandinavia, a joint venture, was registered in May, 2007, and set up with assistance from JSC TransContainer, part of the Russian Railways group, and Finnish railways. The aim of the joint venture is to provide the full range of services for container transit shipments, imports and exports between Russia and Finland.
St. Petersburg – Helsinki high-speed train services
The first high-speed Allegro train ran on 12 December 2010 and cut travel time on the 415 km route between St. Petersburg and Helsinki from 5.5 hours to 3.5 hours.
Russian Railways and Russia’s Ministry of Transport initiated several amendments to laws which now allow customs and border checks to begin on the train’s departure and continue up to the very border.
In addition, the Russian government adopted a special act to establish a border crossing checkpoint at the Finland station in St. Petersburg.
Electronic transport documentation
More than 160,000 wagons, making up 96% of the total, have been shipped under electronic documentation since August 2011, when Russian Railways and Finland’s VR-Group launched an empty private wagon service using electronic data exchange (EDE).
Advanced transportation of loaded wagons using the EDE system is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2013. EDE technology will come into use in other countries in the second half of 2013.
In 2014 it is planned to start piggyback traffic between Russia and Finland on a regular basis.
On 26 November 2012, a commercial car carrier came into service and runs on the Lev Tolstoy Moscow-Helsinki train.
Plans for tourist trains between Joensuu, Oulu and Imatra will be developed in 2013 due to the increasing demand for passenger services between Finland and Russia’s Northwest region.