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High-speed train upgrades included in ministry's budget proposal

The proposed upgrades would enable one-hour rides between Helsinki and the southern cities of Tampere and Turku.

Pendolino ja IC2-juna Turun ratapihan varikolla.
File photo. Image: Jouni Koutonen / Yle

One element of the Ministry of Finance's budget proposal released on Thursday is a proposal to upgrade southern railway systems to create a one-hour train connection between Helsinki and the southern city of Tampere. The proposal also includes provisions to speed plans for a similar high-speed connection between Helsinki and the southwest city of Turku.

The plan states that the main objective of renovations being made to the tracks is to shorten the travel times between the major cities to an hour, while still using the current rolling stock.

Currently, the fastest train journey between Helsinki and Tampere takes approximately one-and-a-half hours, while other trains make the trip closer to two hours. The distance between the cities is around 180 kilometers, and trains shuttle passengers between Helsinki and Tampere 38 times a day.

A faster train service has also been in the works for the Helsinki-Turku line for some time, a project the ministry is now proposing to expedite. Currently, the journey between the cities is less than two hours, with a speedier express route that takes one hour and 38 minutes.

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