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VR shells out €200k to customers for Midsummer delays

The rail company is still accepting compensation claims from customers affected by the severe delays.

Juna Pieksämäen asemalla, muutama ihminen seisoo laiturilla.
File photo of a VR long distance train. Image: Jarkko Riikonen / Yle
Yle News

State railway firm VR has nearly processed thousands of compensation claims filed by passengers about extensive service delays over the Midsummer weekend.

The company said it received a total of nearly 10,000 customer compensation claims.

The situation was caused by track construction delays in the municipality of Lempäälä, which prompted significant hold-ups.

At worst, some passengers on overnight trains faced delays of up to 24 hours.

As of now, all compensation applications received by the VR Group in June have been processed, with the exception of a few individual cases, according to Jaakko Rantala, head of operations at VR Group.

The total amount the company has paid out in compensations amounts to around 200,000 euros, mostly train ticket refunds.

"We have also received additional requests for compensation for taxi journeys, for example. We have looked at the compensation on a case-by-case basis and tried to interpret them in the customer's interest," Rantala explained.

Rantala said the company plans to discuss with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency what lessons could be learned from the situation and how similar incidents might be avoided in the future.

Train tickets, tax trips and hotel stays reimbursed

A mother from Oulu, Riitta Kataja, sought compensation after traveling with her daughter from Tikkurila to Oulu during the holiday.

Due to the delays, the pair had to stay at a hotel in Hämeenlinna in the middle of their trip.

Kataja requested compensation from the company for train tickets, taxi fares, and hotel accommodation. A decision on the compensation was reached in about three weeks.

"VR reimbursed everything. I am very satisfied," she said.

VR's Jaakko Rantala said that costs incurred due to the Midsummer service delays are still eligible for compensation.

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