Finland - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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This list is based on the timetable period 10 December 2023 to 30 March 2024. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information.

Map references for each route entry are given in parentheses ( ). References prefixed "ERA-E" refer to the European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball. References prefixed "ERA-R" refer to the European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - Nordic) by M.G. Ball.

Obscure services

Tampere avoiding line: Lempäälä (Tampere Viinikka) – Orivesi (Tampere Järvensivu)

(ERA-E 6C3; ERA-R 10C5) FI24/1

This south to east curve links the Helsinki and Jyväskylä lines. On occasions when overnight trains to and from northern Finland are diverted via Haapamäki because of engineering work on the main line via Parkano, they usually run via the avoiding line and reverse in and out of Tampere station. This is to avoid reversing the formation of the trains, particularly those carrying cars. Use of the avoiding line normally occurs between the stops at Tampere and Seinäjoki. However such diversions are now very rare as the newer Edm sleeping cars need a generator van on non-electrified lines and these are stationed in the north of the country for the sleeper services to Kolari.

Lahti – Salpausselkä

(ERA-E 7A3; ERA-R 10C5) FI24/2

A short branch from a triangular junction west of Lahti runs to this simple platform north of the main line from Helsinki, and has been used by trains to special events at Lahti Urheilukeskus (a sports arena). Trains have run direct from Helsinki for major Lahti Ski Games events which take place each winter. In 2017, specials ran on 25 February and 4 March but there is no confirmation of more recent trains. The branch may see several trains each year for significant events, most of which are open to the public. Information about trains to Salpausselkä is best sought from event organisers and train operators, which are usually preservation societies or rail tour companies.
The compilers would be grateful for reports of any trains running on this line, or of it no longer being used.

If a train comes directly from Helsinki or Riihimäki it uses the west curve. Conversely, if the train comes from the east or stops at Lahti station it uses the east curve. The branch is not electrified and has no loop, so locomotive hauled trains must either be propelled in one direction or have a second locomotive.

Turku Platform 17

(ERA-E 7A3; ERA-R 10C5) FI24/3

While the line between (Helsinki -) Kupittaa and Turku is closed for engineering work, only platform 7 is in use at Turku. However, some trains from Tampere are booked to use a temporary platform 17 on the opposite side of the yards, about an 800m walk from station.

IC924 16:10 Tampere - Turku Satama
IC928 18:10 Tampere - Turku Satama

Other freight lines

Occasional specials are operated over other lines - particularly in the summer - by preservation societies. An annual listing is produced by Resiina magazine and the Heritage Railway Association of Finland.


See Finland - Tram services over obscure routes

Other sparse services

The following lines have few trains (relative to service levels generally in this country) - fewer than four trains each way on at least three days a week - or do not run each weekday

1, 8 and 9 Turku - Turku satama (harbour) Three trains each way
2 Karjaa - Hanko. Complete bus replacement until further notice.
7 Rovaniemi - Kemijärvi One overnight train each way from/to Helsinki.
7 Kemi (Laurila) - Tornio - Kolari Irregular service pattern. Check timetable
9 Pieksämäki - Joensuu Two trains a day each way
11 Haapamäki - Keuruu (- Jyvaskyla) Three trains a day each way
11 Haapamäki - Ähtäri (- Seinäjoki) Two trains a day each way
14 Joensuu - Nurmes Two trains a day each way
18 Ilsalmi - Ylivieska One train a day each way and one SX in one direction and SuX in the other.

Deletions since previous edition


See also