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Train service slowly returning to normal after suspected vandalism

The Transport Infrastructure Agency said that vandalism was the suspected cause of the damage. Police have launched an investigation.

Passengers awaited rescheduling updates at Tampere's main railway station. Image: Antti Eintola / Yle

Train service in south-central Finland began to return to normal on Monday afternoon after a cable failure interrupted traffic between Tampere and Riihimäki. State rail company VR announced the cancellations shortly after 9 am, predicting that repairs would be completed some time in the afternoon.

In a tweet, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency said that vandalism was the suspected cause of the cable damage. Central Finland police told Yle shortly after noon that no criminal complaint had yet been filed.

Later in the afternoon police said that a criminal complaint had been filed and that an investigation had begun.

The transport agency said the damage was on the same bridge where repairs caused massive delays during the Midsummer holiday weekend in late June. The rail operator was forced to pay out hundreds of thousands of euros in compensation to disgruntled passengers.

Some passengers rent cars together

VR replaced train services between Riihimäki and Tampere with a continuous round-trip shuttle bus service during the repairs. However VR said it was having great difficulties getting enough buses to carry all travellers. At the Tampere train station, some passengers formed groups with strangers to rent cars together, for instance, to go to Jyväskylä.

The cable failure was discovered in the early morning hours on Monday. Most early morning train services between Tampere and Helsinki were cancelled, as were Tampere regional transport trains R and M. Night trains were running at slower speeds and up to three hours behind schedule.

The company said that train service between Tampere and Riihimäki would resume around 1 pm, but that delays and occasional cancellations could still occur.

The first normally operating trains were IC trains between the capital and Oulu and Rovaniemi. Both trains were to make extra stops in Riihimäki, Hämeenlinna, Toijala and Lempäälä.

Updated 13.59 with information about police probe.