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Old August 30th, 2015, 12:06 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
Half of all trains run with less than 20% of seats filled? That is really bad. The future of Finnish railways looks quite dire with these numbers...which is ironic since Estonia has made Finland kind of an example on how to raise passenger numbers on railways (which Finland indeed did a while back).
Same everywhere. DB took a hit from buses in Germany, even in Japan the intercity buses are strangely popular, when i can't think of any good reason, even price. Some people must really be determined to get the best price.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 12:47 PM   #82
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To be fair, the price difference is insane. I checked prices for a Monday morning Helsinki-Turku trip, roughly at 8AM.

Omnibus - € 7.50 (the highest price when buying a ticket for the next day)
Train - € 33.60
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Old August 30th, 2015, 01:45 PM   #83
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Its the same here in the US , but the population of certain corridors like the Northeast and West Coast means that Rail ridership hasn't taken a hit...in fact its growing...
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Old August 30th, 2015, 04:41 PM   #84
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It's usually cheaper to fly from Helsinki to Oulu than travel by train...
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Old August 30th, 2015, 07:07 PM   #85
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Can't say I saw the popularity of buses raising again.
From somebody who travels quite a bit between Vaasa and Helsinki, I would not even think of taking a bus when talking about that kind of distance. Also getting student prices from VR helps.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 07:11 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Eco-rat View Post
Same everywhere. DB took a hit from buses in Germany, even in Japan the intercity buses are strangely popular, when i can't think of any good reason, even price. Some people must really be determined to get the best price.
Strangely popular, but certainly don't capture much of the modal share overall. Instead, in Japan they compliment the railways. The buses do sometimes take better routes than trains though - for example from Kansai to Shikoku it's actually better to take the highway bus for most of the island.

Even here in Sweden long distance buses are popular, but the train doesn't seem to suffer in ridership despite a healthy competition to the bus - the reason of course is speed. The train is generally faster than the bus and a LOT more comfortable. I will never take a bus over a train, I'd rather not travel than travel by bus. They are the worst form of transport of all.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 07:27 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Even here in Sweden long distance buses are popular, but the train doesn't seem to suffer in ridership despite a healthy competition to the bus - the reason of course is speed. The train is generally faster than the bus and a LOT more comfortable. I will never take a bus over a train, I'd rather not travel than travel by bus. They are the worst form of transport of all.
The long distance bus is on the bottom of my totem pole as well. Still there are people who are more sensitive to prices than me or you plus occasionally there is no good alternative.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 07:29 PM   #88
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Having said that the difference in price in Finland is too large. Railways will have no other option than to reduce prices significantly particularly on routes where they can't be faster than bus.
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Old August 30th, 2015, 11:16 PM   #89
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Actually for decades there has been a price duopoly between trains and buses.
The prices were the same. VR has just charged an additional fee for IC, IC2 and Pendolino trains. There were no saver or advance purchase fares. Still, price were much cheaper than in Germany. Students got 50% discount.
Some people preferred buses, other ones preferred trains.
Trains are more comfortable, but do not cover all urban areas of the country.

However, in recent years some low cost bus companies has established business in Finland. They steal business from traditional buses and from trains.
That has forced VR to introduce advance saver fares.
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Old September 13th, 2015, 05:21 AM   #90
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[VR] Pendolino service from Helsinki to Oulu passing Parkano station.

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Old September 13th, 2015, 01:58 PM   #91
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What's the maximum allowed speed in Finland when passing platforms?
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Old October 2nd, 2015, 05:10 PM   #92
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Finnish state railway's opening to competition is speeding up...
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VR's monopoly on Finnish passenger rail traffic will end during this government's term, says the Transport Minister.

"This is not about privatising VR; the state is not giving up ownership," she said.

The ministry’s goal is to set in motion the process for opening up train traffic to competition during spring 2016. Currently, VR has an exclusive agreement on passenger train traffic in Finland through to the end of 2024.
More on the subject: YLE News
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Old January 13th, 2016, 10:20 PM   #93
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VR Group's new Siemens Vectron locomotive.

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Old April 6th, 2016, 11:42 AM   #94
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The Finnish Government has granted funds to continue the project of a new, long-awaited, faster and shorted railway between Helsinki and Turku (nicknamed ELSA, as it goes via Espoo, Lohja and Salo). A very curvy present line (via Karjaa) doesn't allow sufficiently fast travel, even if the travel time for one of the trains has been recently shortened to 1 hour and 38 minutes.
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More in Finnish here.
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Last edited by eu01; April 6th, 2016 at 11:47 AM.
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Old March 3rd, 2017, 08:44 PM   #95
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New, faster and shorter railway between Helsinki and Turku with travel time one hour or so? It's been one year ago. What about the travel time just 20 minutes or less?
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Plans for a high-speed hyperloop transportation shuttle inched forward as sponsors begin looking into land use and environmental impact studies for a connection between Turku and Helsinki. The city of Salo has ordered the analysis and is also considering a test track to Turku.
"Hyperloop takes a step forward" writes yle.fi
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Old March 4th, 2017, 11:49 AM   #96
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Thre is no Hyperloop at moment even no complete test track nowhere in the world. I think let there will be more knowledge about this fancy thing before serious proposals could be maid.
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Old April 14th, 2017, 09:30 AM   #97
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Do you like betting? Finns apparently do, let's just mention that every year Veikkaus, the Finnish national betting agency has been able to hand over to the Ministry of Education more than 500 million euros from its profits (the total population in Finland being 5.5 million).

Recently Veikkaus has announced that it will expand its betting to include the trains' punctuality. Their Fixed Odds Betting system will be similar to sports betting. By selecting 1 you bet the train will arrive on time (5 min. tolerance). Two means delay. X will probably mean big delay or unexpected circumstances. Well, the Finnish trains run mostly on time, but last night the sleeper train to Kolari would have been given X. Due to the car transporter fault the delay reached 5,5 hours. Disappointing for passengers, costly for rail operator too: all passengers' tickets will have to be refunded.
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Old August 7th, 2017, 11:32 PM   #98
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Old August 9th, 2017, 10:28 PM   #99
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I think the main reason rail patronage in Finland not exactly as high as it could be is because not many of the routes are direct, e.g. Helsinki-Jyväskylä or Helsinki-Pori having to detour and go via Tampere, which makes the train journey longer than driving.

Anyone know if the planned Helsinki-Forssa-Pori or Helsinki-Lahti-Heinola-Jyväskylä lines will be built in the near future? I've read reports that show the Helsinki to Jyväskylä trip would take 2 hours, and Pori 1.5!! They'd be mad not to
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Old August 31st, 2017, 11:24 PM   #100
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Anyone know if the planned Helsinki-Forssa-Pori or Helsinki-Lahti-Heinola-Jyväskylä lines will be built in the near future?
No, unfortunately not. From above mentioned, so called "oikorata", more direct connection from Helsinki (Kerava actually) to Lahti has already been in use since 2006, but the plans to continue this line via Heinola to Mikkeli rather than Jyväskylä are not going to be implemented any time soon.

Right now, railway news from VR on positive side concern growing demand for passenger rail travel, due to new price policies and shorter travel times.
Quote:
Matkamäärä on kasvanut tänä vuonna jo lähes 10% (...). Täyttöaste on jo yli 40%, ja suosituimmilla vuoroilla selvästi yli 70%. Kysynnän kasvu on kääntänyt myös matkustajaliikenteen liikevaihdon ja tulostason nousuun.
Passenger travel has risen almost 10% this year and load factor has been 40%, on most popular routes over 70%. The growth in demand has also led to growth in net sales and overall performance.
In VR news release one can also read about new rail car orders. Beginning in early 2019, 20 double-deck carriages, 113 seats each, will be delivered by Transtech Otanmäki.
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