Documents establishing the project companies Finnish Rail and Turku One Hour Train signed, design phase can be started
Two limited liability companies will be established for the design and planning of the Finnish Rail Ltd (Suomi-rata Oy) and the Turku One Hour Train Ltd (Turun Tunnin Juna Oy). The documents establishing the companies have now been signed. The Finnish Government owns 51 per cent of the shares in both companies.
Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications, welcomes the fact that the planning of the projects can now begin.
"The establishment of the companies is an important milestone in our efforts to promote two large-scale railway projects and obtain full EU subsidies. In addition to the Finnish Government, a total of 26 cities and municipalities and Finavia are involved in the project companies. This proves that we are strongly committed to developing all of Finland. Investing in rail transport is essential when we move towards sustainable transport," says Minister Harakka.
The task of Finnish Rail is to plan the rail transport infrastructure related to the rail connection between Helsinki and Tampere via Helsinki Airport until the construction is ready to begin.
In addition to the Finnish Government, the shareholders of the company are the Finavia Corporation, Helsinki, Tampere, Vantaa, Hämeenlinna, Janakkala, Riihimäki, Lahti, Akaa, Jyväskylä, Oulu, Pori, Seinäjoki, Vaasa, Kangasala, Nokia, Orivesi, Pirkkala, Ylöjärvi, Kokkola and Parkano.
The company's board has nine members. Kari Savolainen, MA, is the chairman of the board. He is the chairman of the board of Steveco Oy, a board member of Arctia Oy and the vice chair of the board of Backstaff Oy. Savolainen has previously acted as the managing director of the Finavia Corporation. The vice chair is Pekka Timonen, LLD, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice. The other board members are Minna Korkeaoja, Leena Vainiomäki, Otto Lehtipuu, Katja Siberg, Reetta Putkonen, Juha Yli-Rajala and Hannu Penttilä.
"Finnish Rail is one of the most important infrastructure projects during Finland's independence. It is great and interesting to be involved in examining the preconditions for the projects. Efficient logistic connections from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area to Northern Finland are vital to Finland's competitiveness in terms of both passenger transport and freight transport. What is also important from the point of view of accessibility is that Finnish Rail makes it possible to integrate railway transport and air transport into efficient travel chains," says Kari Savolainen, chairman of the board of Finnish Rail Ltd.
Turku One Hour Train
The task of Turku One Hour Train is to plan the railway infrastructure related to the Turku-Helsinki high-speed rail connection until the construction is ready to begin.
In addition to the Government of Finland, the shareholders of the company are the cities of Turku, Espoo, Helsinki, Salo, Lohja, Vihti and Kirkkonummi.
The company's board has 13 members. The board is chaired by Minna Forsström, MSc (Tech), MBA. She is a board member of Algol Technics Oy and has previously acted as a project manager at Fennovoima Oy. The vice chair is Eeva-Liisa Virkkunen, MSc (Econ & BusAdmin), former Financial Director at Metso Oyj. She is also the chairman of the board of Sotkamo Silver AB. The other board members are Arja Koski, Sami Kurunsaari, Aki Markkola, Päivi Hakala, Pia Björk, Richard Manninen, Erkki Eerola, Mika Mannervesi, Jarkko Virtanen, Olli Isotalo and Mika Sivula.
"I think this railway project is important and it is great to be involved in building the preconditions for a long time into the future. The Turku One Hour Train is a large-scale project that will genuinely benefit climate and lay the foundation for wellbeing in Finland," says Minna Forström, the chair of the board of Turku One Hour Train Ltd.
Cities satisfied with the progress of the rail projects
"It is good that project companies can now move forward in the planning of high-speed rail connections that benefit Finland as a whole. Helsinki and the other cities have made very significant contributions to establishing the companies. If implemented, Finnish Rail and the Airport Line included in it would provide growth to the entire country, create new opportunities for businesses and improve the international accessibility of our country," says Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki.
"The Finnish Rail project company helps to accelerate the construction of additional tracks in the rail link between Tampere and Helsinki, thus enabling to reduce the travel time to one hour. The project company opens up an opportunity to make significant railway infrastructure investments, which are an effective way to stimulate the economy and support the positive development of employment. Investing into the railway infrastructure is also an important way of supporting the green transition and sustainable development. In addition to this all, we must keep in mind the renovation of the current main railway line," says Lauri Lyly, Mayor or Tampere.
"It is great that the project is progressing. The development of Aviapolis and the area around the airport is important not only to Vantaa, but to the whole country. Among all of the pending railway projects, Finnish Rail is the one that will most increase Finland's competitiveness and international accessibility as a whole," says Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa.
"The final planning of the Turku One Hour Train is still an extensive project. The launch of the construction work in the One-hour Train subprojects in both Turku and Espoo has already been agreed on. We expect the project company to be able to implement the planning swiftly so that we will also be able to implement the direct railway line and the Turku-Salo double track," says Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku.
"The first phase of the Turku One Hour Train is the Espoo city rail link, which is an important part of the development of the commuting area of the Helsinki region and Western Uusimaa. It will improve the transport connections in the renewing centre of Espoo, in Kera and in the growing Leppävaara and promote emission-free mobility and sustainable urban development everywhere in Espoo, says Jukka Mäkelä," Mayor of Espoo.
The shareholders will pay the subscription prices for the shares, after which a notification of the establishment of the companies will be filed with the Finnish Trade Register. The limited liability companies will be officially established when they have been registered in the Trade Register.
After the establishment, the companies will organise themselves and launch their operations. Finnish Rail will promote the planning of the rail connection between Helsinki and Tampere, which runs via Helsinki Airport. Turku One Hour Train will continue to plan the fast-speed rail link between Helsinki and Turku.
Requests for interviews with Minister Timo Harakka: Susanna Niinivaara, Director of Communications, tel. +358 400 816 187
Sanna Ruuskanen, Director of Unit, Minister of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 376 2377
Kari Savolainen, chairman of the board, Finnish Rail Ltd., tel. +358 40 772 7282
Minna Forsström, chair of the board, Turku One Hour Train Ltd., tel. +358 40 702 9896
Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki: Inquiries via Lotta Backlund, Special Adviser to the Mayor, tel.+358 40 5313 076
Lauri Lyly, Mayor of Tampere, tel. +358 50 68293
Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Vantaa, tel. +358 9 8392 2101
Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku, tel. +358 44 907 5210
Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo, tel. +358 46 877 3953
Press release 14 February 2020: Central and local government reach agreement on promoting large-scale rail projects
Government project website: Promotion of large-scale rail projects (LVM031:00/2019)