Trains ‘Freeze’ on Monday as the Drivers Go on A Strike

Train traffic “freezes” on Monday evening when the drivers go on a strike. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Train services in Finland will stop (all trains VR and HSL), starting on Monday evening, August 14,  at 18:00 when train drivers are joining a strike. The drivers will drive the trains to the designated destinations, and the strike will begin gradually. By Tuesday morning, the protest is in full effect and will continue until midnight on Tuesday, August 15.

Passengers can search for alternative routes with HSL’s Journey Planner using the advanced search. When you exclude trains from the route search, the planner will show the bus routes available. HSL season ticket customers can request a refund if they are unable to use their tickets due to the industrial action.

According to VR, the customers may not purchase tickets for any trains running between August 14 at 18:00 and August 15 at midnight.

The strike is arranged by the Locomotive Drivers Union, following the government’s decision to open the state-owned VR’s railroad network to competitors by 2026. “The basic principle of these public companies is to maximize their owners’ profit without caring about the consequences,” the union said in a bulletin.

According to the union, competition is welcome, but it has to guarantee that the politicians’ promises of cheaper tickets and better services will come true. Now, the companies are allowed to enter the market without having to invest in hardware that would improve train services in the future. If the government’s decision is implemented in its current form, the future, according to the union, will require large investments in hardware to maintain the current high traffic on the railroads.

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