Information published on 5 September 2011 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 253.

Finland: Changes bring extra benefits for rail passengers

More options on price and new services will become available to users of rail travel as from 14 September, when VR (Finland Railways) starts to phase in its new rail ticket pricing system.

Online sales – an easy way to buy tickets and services

VR’s website vr.fi and the upgraded online sales system will provide a wider range of services for rail travellers. It will now be possible to purchase tickets not only for travel in Finland but also for journeys to Russia, and to buy the popular car-train transport packages.

Buying a train ticket online will be even more convenient, for a greater range of tickets can be sent to customers to their email or mobile phone. Comparing timetables and prices will be easier when buying a ticket online.

Another new feature on VR’s website is the ‘Trains on the map’ service, which shows where trains are in real time. A test version was opened to customers in June, and this has been developed in cooperation with customers over the summer.

New services and pricing are being phased in

The volume of eco-friendly rail travel has increased steadily in the past few years, and VR is developing the services on trains and pricing to further raise its popularity. The changes in pricing will be phased in over a period of several years.

VR is now trying to steer demand increasingly through its pricing, since the construction of extra railway lines, which would make it possible to increase the number of trains especially in Southern Finland, is unlikely in the near future. Demand for some trains, especially during rush hours, is very high and some trains are crowded. VR’s goal is to improve travel comfort and create more space on rush hour trains by offering customers the opportunity also to choose the most suitably priced train.

(Source: VR)