Monday April 12, 2021

Train services paralysed as RAU goes on strike

Published : 18 Mar 2021, 19:01

Updated : 18 Mar 2021, 22:52

  DF Report

Helsinki central railway station on Thursday afternoon. Photo: DF by Anurup Das.

Rail services in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and Southern Finland remain suspended as the Railway Union Association (Rautatiealan Unioni Ry-RAU) has started a two-day strike on Thursday morning.

Rail communications on a few routes and all long distance train services, however, remain operative during the strike.

G trains (Riihimäki–Lahti) are running as scheduled while a few M trains (Toijala–Nokia) and Z trains (Helsinki–Lahti) were in operatioin while services on all other routes remained completely closed.

The national railway operator VR allowed all commuter train tickets on long-distance trains that stop in Pasila, Tikkurila, Leppävaara, Karjaa, Riihimäki, Hämeenlinna, Toijala, and Lahti during the strike.

The union called the strike protesting against an alleged breach of contract by VR and some changes brought to work conditions agreed on.

VR in last spring won the competitive bidding for Helsinki's HSL commuter train service operation rights by submitting an under-priced bid, said the union.

Earlier, VR and the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (Helsingin seudun liikenne – HSL) on Wednesday afternoon, announced that all commuter train services will remain suspended on Thursday and Friday due to the strike.

HSL did not arrange replacement services and urged the commuters to find alternative routes using the ‘Journey Planner’ and ticking the train option in the planner’s settings.

Due to the strike, all commuter trains of HSL (A, E, I, K, L, P, U, Y) and VR (D, G, R, T, Z, M) remain cancelled from 18 to 19 March.