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VR plans huge 'super train' for Christmas rush

Christmas is a busy time on the railways, and some yuletide services are already fully booked. The state railway company VR, though, has the biggest train in Finnish history ready to take the strain.

Juna ohittamassa asemaa.
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Travelling for the Christmas holidays is always a hectic experience, and there aren't many tickets left for the busiest trains this year. This year the state railway company VR has announced that it will be running the biggest train ever seen in Finland—holding some 1,500 passengers—to try and alleviate the crush.

The busiest days for Christmas travel are 22 and 23 December, when Finns travel to visit relatives for the holidays or head north for a Christmas skiing break. Night trains north are fully booked on both days, but other services still have some space, according to Henna Nordberg of VR.

Services from Helsinki to Oulu are some 80-90 percent full, while trains from the capital to Vaasa, Kuopio and Joensuu are all at about 70-85 percent capacity.

On 23 December VR will run the biggest passenger train ever in Finland, as 15 double-decker coaches make up a 400-metre 15:27 service from Helsinki to Rovaniemi. This so-called 'super train' is already some 70 percent full.

Although night trains have more coaches, they are not double decker coaches and therefore have smaller capacities than the 1,500-passenger 'super train'.

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