VR Group, commonly known as VR, is a government-owned railway company in Finland. VR's most important function is the operation of Finland's passenger rail services with 250 long-distance and 800 commuter rail services every day. With 7,500 employees and net sales of €1.251 million in 2017, VR is one of the most significant operators in the Finnish public transport market area.
Because in most parts of Finland the density of population is low, Finland is not optimally suited for railways. Commuter services are nowadays rare outside the Helsinki area, but express trains interconnect most cities. As in France, the majority of passenger services are connections to the capital, Helsinki. In the 2010s, VR has made connections faster by reducing stops at minor stations and increasing running speeds with new locomotives and renovated high-speed trains.
The national railway company VR has a monopoly on passenger transport. In Helsinki local traffic, class Sm5 EMUs are owned by Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalusto Oy, but are operated by VR. The new class Sm6 Allegro trains are owned and operated by Karelian Trains, a 50/50 joint venture of VR and Russian railway company RZD. The trains are operated by VR personnel while on Finnish soil.
VR provides car transport services. Seven stations allow loading and unloading of cars on trains: Helsinki, Turku and Tampere in the south, Oulu further north, and Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi and Kolari in Lapland. Car transport trains stop at other stations along the way for normal passenger transport and is available as daily service to Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi and several times a week to Kolari. Finland is the only Nordic country to offer car transport on trains, however, car transport on trains is available on many European countries outside the Nordic countries. In August 2021 VR will commence operating the Tampere light rail.
The maximum speed for passenger traffic is 220 km/h (140 mph), but is achieved only on the Kerava–Lahti railway line. Freight trains have a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). Actual speed limits vary depending on the train type and track portion. Some delays can occur in autumn and winter due to weather conditions (e.g. high winds).
The Live Train Map service uses data from the GPS tracking of trains and the train movement data of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, which give you the best and most up-to-date information about the movements of trains..