Friday January 22, 2021

Finland marks 150th year of railway link with Russia

Published : 07 Jan 2020, 01:35

  DF-Xinhua Report

Photo VR by Leif Rosnell.

The Finnish Railway Museum in Hyvinkaa, north of Helsinki, on Monday opened an exhibit to the public, celebrating this year as the 150th anniversary of railway connection between Finland and Russia.

The some 370 km-long railroad from Riihimaki, Finland to St. Petersburg, Russia was completed in less than three years and started operations in 1870. It is the first railway between Finland and Russia and still in use today.

A pride item of the Finnish Railway Museum are the luxury railroad cars of the Russian Imperial train that the Czar and his family used while visiting Finland.

Visitors can also see steam engine number 9, purchased from Britain at the time the construction started.

Marina Bergstrom, head of exhibitions at the museum, told Xinhua that the focus of the celebrations will be on the positive impact the railroad has had on Finland. For example, it opened easy transport to Finnish exports to the then Russian capital St. Petersburg.

"Enough has been written about the hardships of the construction and lives lost, now we want celebrate the whole 150 years -- not only the initial construction phase," Bergstrom said.

"We will also doing an exhibition together with the Russian Railroad Museum. The whole exhibition will be in the museum in St. Petersburg, but parts of it will be shown in Finland," Bergstrom added.

Established in 1898, the Finnish Railway Museum last year saw a record of 27,000 visitors. Bergstrom said Russians are a large foreign group, as well as Britons and Germans.