Trains to northern Finland fully booked as Easter travel begins

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Rovaniemi railway station on the Arctic Circle. (Maija-Liisa Juntti/Yle)
The national rail company promises to reimburse up to 1,000 passengers on two sold-out holiday trains that left Helsinki about six hours late. Highway traffic is picking up on Thursday afternoon, with some people leaving jobs in the cities early to head off for the four-day weekend.

State Railways VR reports several delays on northbound trains from Helsinki to Oulu, Rovaniemi and Kolari. Worst affected are trains that left the capital for Kolari, the northernmost point of the rail network, and Rovaniemi, capital of Finnish Lapland. They left Helsinki about six hours late due to technical problems.

By early Thursday afternoon the Kolari train was still nearly five hours behind schedule, while the Rovaniemi train was three hours late. Both trains were fully-booked with up to 500 passengers each, many heading for ski resorts in Finnish Lapland.

VR says their fares will be refunded due to the delays.

Other trains are running delays of less than an hour. Details are listed on the VR website.

Road traffic gaining pace

Highway traffic is picking up on Thursday afternoon, with some people leaving jobs in the cities early to head off for the four-day weekend.

Traffic is expected to peak sometime late Thursday, but also to be heavy on Friday. The post-holiday peak is expected on Monday between noon and 8 pm.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Nunavut gears up for increase in Arctic tourism, Radio Canada International

Finland:  A record year for tourism in Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region, Yle News

Greenland: Blog – Greenland pioneers Arctic tourism & mining, Cryopolitics

Iceland:  10% of Iceland’s workforce employed in tourism, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Norwegian transport company launches new vessel for Arctic tourism, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Foreign cruise vessels line up for voyages to Franz Josef Land, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Former Gov. Murkowski to explore creation of Alaska-Canada rail link, Alaska Dispatch News

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