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Friday’s papers: Dirty trains, body found in strange place, and warm weather in store

Among the morning's press, there are growing complaints about state railway VR’s difficulties in keeping its trains clean.

Ihmiset viettivät lämmintä ja aurinkoista päivää Vanhassa kirkkopuistossa Helsingissä 19. toukokuuta.
Warm weather is set to continue over the weekend. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva

Main daily Helsingin Sanomat (HS) reports on state railway VR’s continuing problems with dirty trains. In recent months, passengers have made numerous complaints about unclean cabins, posting pictures of untidy play areas and filthy floors on social media including VR’s Facebook community page.

HS interviews commuter Liisa Lesonen, who traveled from Helsinki to Vaasa in the business cabin of an InterCity train last Saturday. According to Lesonen, the train’s floor was dusty and muddy.

"There was all kinds of garbage under the benches and the train’s bathroom smelled terrible, even from a few metres away," Lesonen told the paper. "Their train compartments used to be much cleaner. These days I don’t even want to put my bag on the floor," she said.

After VR put their cleaning contract up for competitive tender, the job of keeping the fleet neat went from contractor SOL to RTK in June.

At the time, VR’s operative director Vesa Pippuri told HS that there had been some challenges with the transition of service providers, but that they were working to smooth things out.

However, more than a month on, there is little improvement in the situation, writes HS. Among the issues, customers have been dismayed about the state of the morning’s first trains, which are so dirty that it appears they haven't been cleaned.

Unexpected discovery

Ilta-Sanomat (IS), the sister tabloid of HS, reports that a body was discovered on Thursday on the roof of a train in Vantaa, just north of Helsinki.

Around 6 pm, train traffic was halted at the Louhela station. The rescue department told IS that a body was spotted atop a train at the station.

"The rescue department went to retrieve the body and found that the person had passed away," Raimo Laakso, the fire chief on duty told IS. The incident led to widespread train delays and cancellations throughout the capital region.

Police are investigating the matter.

On a lighter note

And just in time for the weekend, tabloid Iltalehti reports that the weather in Finland will warm up gradually over the next few days, with sunshine in the east and rain in the north.

It will be clear in the country’s western regions, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Although there will be some clouds and rain showers, temperatures will be between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius throughout most of Finland.

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