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Trains freeze up again on holiday weekend

Bitterly cold weather has again spurred train delays around Finland on Friday as the country begins a long holiday weekend.

Matkustajat poistumassa paikallisjunasta.
VR and HSL have struggled to keep rolling stock in regular service. Image: Yle

Mass transit delays continue on Friday, although most commuters are staying home or heading out of cities for a three-day weekend.

January 6, celebrated as Epiphany on most Christian calendars, is an official national holiday. More details about opening hours and transport schedules here.

State Railways VR and Helsinki Regional Transport HSL have struggled to keep rolling stock in regular service since temperatures plunged on Tuesday. Other transport including busses and Helsinki's Metro have also suffered delays and technical breakdowns.

Trains up to 95 min late

As of Friday afternoon, VR reported that at least a dozen long-distance trains had been delayed as severe cold continues. Temperatures ranged from around -20 in Helsinki, Turku, Oulu and Ivalo to -26 in Jyväskylä and Kuopio.

Delayed routes include those from the capital to Pieksämäki, Kuopio and Rovaniemi, and Helsinki-bound trains from Oulu and Kemijärvi. Most delays were of 20-30 minutes, but the overnight train from the capital to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland arrived some two hours late.

In addition, a train from Lahti to Riihimäki was cancelled because of a technical problem in the train. Meanwhile trains between Iisalmi and Ylivieska are being replaced by busses.

More details are available on the VR website.

Sudden thaw may bring problems

HSL has not announced any additional delays since local train services returned to normal service around 7.30 pm Thursday.

More problems with transport and burst pipes are likely on Saturday, when temperatures are set to quickly rise to around zero or even higher in the south, accompanied by snow through most of the day.

3.02 pm: Updated throughout.

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