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Sweden and Finland to finally establish a passenger train connection

Sweden and Finland to finally establish a passenger train connection

Train travel between the two Scandinavian countries has not been possible for nearly 30 years

Although Sweden and Finland are neighbouring countries, they have not had a passenger train connection for almost three decades. Nowadays, the popularity of train travel has increased significantly, partly due to environmental concerns.

Knowing this, Sweden and Finland are taking important steps to establish a cross-border connection via passenger trains. On 1 April, the station in the Swedish border town Haparanda reopened to passenger trains for the first time in 29 years.

Meanwhile, authorities in Finland have decided to electrify a 20-kilometre stretch of track between Laurila and the Swedish border. This track electrification project received a EUR 1.6 million grant from the European Union in July 2020.

In addition to this, the railway bridge across the Tornio River would also have to be renewed and electrified. However, decisions regarding its financing have not yet been made.

Advantages and opportunities

Lapland is eager to restore the passenger train connection as it believes it will open up new opportunities for tourism and boost the economy in Finland. Moreover, the country is also hoping that tourists may even be able to one day travel to Lapland all the way from Central Europe via trains.

Speaking to Euronews, the executive manager of the Finnish Lapland Tourist Board Nina Forsell commented: “So far, they [international guests] have mainly arrived by plane but now this gives the opportunity that in the future, as train travel is becoming more and more popular, you could even travel up by train from Central Europe all the way to Lapland, both to the Swedish side and the Finnish side as well.”

Forsell further noted that most of the tourists visit Lapland to enjoy nature; therefore, these guests are likely to prefer a slow and scenic train journey over a flight.   

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