Russian Railways and Finland’s VR Group discuss prospects for resumption of passenger services


Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways, and Lauri Sipponen, President of the VR Group (Finnish Railways) have discussed cooperation issues between the two companies.

The heads of Russian Railways and the VR Group noted the effectiveness of their cooperation and the good results achieved in 2020. Freight traffic increased by 5% and container traffic was up by 6%. At the same time, the participants at the meeting expressed their intention to continue working together not only to maintain the volume of traffic, but also to bring new logistics products to the market.

According to Oleg Belozerov, rail transport is of increasing interest to the business of the European Union and China, with the prospect of expanding the range of freight transportation between Russia and Finland in both direct and transit communications.

Belozerov called the transition to a single CIM/SMGS consignment note an important factor in the further development of transit traffic between Europe and China. The transition will speed up the processing time for containers at border crossings between Russia and Finland, simplify the document flow process and reduce the cost of transit traffic.

During their conversation, the participants of the meeting also noted the great use of digital technologies in Russian-Finnish railway links. Paperless technology is already used in the transportation process of nearly 90% of loaded wagons going for export and more than 50% on imported wagons, while the transportation of all empty wagons is processed electronically.

As part of their discussions on cooperation in the passenger sphere, the heads of Russian and Finnish railways expressed their hope and readiness for the soonest resumption of passenger railway services between their two countries.