Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy decides on next steps for Finnish Rail and One Hour Train

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 19.12.2023 9.59 | Published in English on 19.12.2023 at 16.31
Press release 585/2023
The VR train in the middle of the fields
Picture: Juha Tuomi/Rodeo

On 19 December 2023, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy discussed the next steps for the Finnish Rail (main railway line development) and One Hour Train (fast rail link between Helsinki and Turku) companies.

The Ministerial Committee authorised the Ministry of Transport and Communications to sign, on behalf of the State of Finland, the Finnish Rail shareholders' decision to buy back the shares of the municipal shareholders and Finavia, as they are leaving the company. In addition to the State of Finland, the City of Helsinki, the City of Vantaa and the City of Lahti are to remain shareholders in the Finnish Rail.

The Finnish Rail's line of business will be changed to cover the planning of the Airport Line rail link between Pasila and Kerava until it is ready for construction. The company name will be changed to Airport Line (Lentorata Oy). The plan is to divide the ownership and shareholders' responsibility for financing so that the State of Finland would own 70%, the City of Helsinki 18.17%, the City of Vantaa 9.08% and the City of Lahti 2.75% of the company.

The Ministerial Committee endorsed the proposal for the Turku One Hour Train to apply for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding in the call closing in January 2024. The funds would be allocated to the planning and construction of the Salo–Hajala and Espoo–Hista sections and for the planning of the other rail links falling within the company's mandate. The CEF funding application still requires the approval of the Ministerial Finance Committee.

The State of Finland, represented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, will continue negotiations with the One Hour Train shareholders on the conditions for moving the project to the construction phase. The central government's financial contribution will cover 51% and that of the other shareholders 49% of the finances. The parties will also continue the assessment and management of the risks associated with the project and the search for financially sustainable solutions. No decision has been made on the construction phase, and its launch will be decided later.

The Ministerial Committee also supported the proposal to change the name of the Turku One Hour Train to the Western Main Line (Länsirata Oy).

Inquiries: Mikko Martikkala, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister in Economic Affairs, tel. +358 40 708 3932, and Miikka Rainiala, Director of Unit, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 295 342 051