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The first test train went from Petrozavodsk to Joensuu

Ceremony of the start of the test voyage

Ceremony of the start of the test voyage

"The train is goes from platform one," – on December, 28 this stock phrase was of historic significance. In the evening on December, 28 the first trial train 204/203 which has established connection between the capital of Karelia and the Finnish city Joensuu left from platform one of Petrozavodsk Station. 'The voyage of friendship' its first passengers have called it.

A.Khudilainen with a souvenir from the Federal Passenger Company

A.Khudilainen with a souvenir from the Federal Passenger Company

Together with citizens of the republic the official delegation of Karelia led by head of the region Alexander Khudilainen went to Joensuu by train. It was Head of Karelia who initiated railway transportation service between Petrozavodsk and Finland.

Among the first passengers of the train from Petrozavodsk to Joensuu there were representatives of the Federal Passenger Company, Oktyabrskaya Railway, the VR-Group concern, travel agencies, Karelian and Russian journalists.

Head of Karelia congratulates citizens of the republic on the first train voyage to Joensuu

Head of Karelia congratulates citizens of the republic on the first train voyage to Joensuu

Let us remind that on September, 25 in Petrozavodsk the Government of Karelia, the management of the Russian Railways and Finnish transport company of VR-Group have signed the memorandum of complex cooperation in the field of railway communication.

And now, several months later the intention implemented. The first test train which went to Joensuu on the eve of the New Year became a true gift to inhabitants of Petrozavodsk and the republic as a whole. Launching of the train has turned into a celebration.

Finnish Santa Claus greeted passengers of the train from Petrozavodsk to Joensuu

Finnish Santa Claus greeted passengers of the train from Petrozavodsk to Joensuu

Friends and families, as well as Russian Father Frost and Finnish Santa Claus, and folk ensemble Zoryaine, children's drama school Colibris, folk-group Sattuma that has written a new song Fast Train Petrozavodsk-Joensuu to this event have seen the passengers off on the train.

Head of Karelia Alexander Khudilainen addressed his salutary words to the passengers at the platform of Petrozavodsk Station.

One hour before the departure

One hour before the departure

As he has emphasized, Karelia has made a long way to this historical event, there were earlier attempts to establish railway communication between Karelia and Finland, however today the republic has a serious support: the initiative of the region is approved by the President of the country and has found its reflection in negotiations between prime ministers of Russia and Finland that took place at the recent IVth Forest Summit in Helsinki.

Alexander Khudilainen has expressed confidence that establishing of such a railway route will promote strengthening of bilateral cooperation, development of tourist, cultural and business relations.

A.Khudilainen and O.Nikitin during the conversation with journalists

A.Khudilainen and O.Nikitin during the conversation with journalists

– We are sure that our cooperation will contribute to creation of additional new jobs which will be necessary when Finnish tourists will be visiting Karelia more often and will let our citizens travel to Finland on a regular basis. It is comfortable, it is convenient, and it is very safe, – Alexander Khudilainen said.

Head of Karelia has thanked the agencies and companies that have assisted establishing of the railway communication, first of all, frontier guards and customs officers, and has congratulated all the passengers and the seers-off on the New Year.

Zoryaine perform at the station

Zoryaine perform at the station

Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Finland Valery Shlyamin who had extended congratulations from the ambassador of Russia in Finland a on this symbolic event, Deputy chief of Oktyabrskaya Railway on Petrozavodsk territorial management Vladimir Troyanov and Deputy director General of the Federal Passenger Company Oleg Nikitin also spoke at the solemn departure of the first train to Joensuu.

Launching of the train became a great occasion

Launching of the train became a great occasion

Oleg Nikitin has mentioned that the train on the route Petrozavodsk-Joensuu-Petrozavodsk was launched thanks to the initiative, energy and persistence of Head of Karelia. According to Oleg Nikitin, the train will become the symbol of 2012 for Karelia and Northern Finland. He has also emphasized that the Federal Passenger Company plans further expansion of geography of railway communication between Karelia and Finland, the opportunity of establishing railway communication between Petrozavodsk and other Finnish cities is studied.

In memory of launching of the train Oleg Nikitin has presented Alexander Khudilainen a specially made vase with pictures of stations of Petrozavodsk and Joensuu.

The compartment in the train

The compartment in the train

By the developed railway tradition departure of the train is celebrated by stroke of a station bell. According to the scenario, guests of honour of the ceremony should have ringed the bell, however Head of the republic has suggested one of the youngest participants of the ceremony to announce departure of the train. Head of Karelia has helped the four-year-old citizen of Petrozavodsk Sofita Ilyina who came to the station with her mother to see the train off to ring the bell.

Then the fireworks were shot off in honour of the first train to Joensuu.

Answering questions of journalists before departure of the train, Head of Karelia emphasized:

The first passengers

The first passengers

– Our far-reaching plan is not just to provide comfortable journey of our tourists to Finland, but also to give the Finnish tourists an additional opportunity to come here. Karelia is a very large and perspective region from the point of view of tourism. We have a lot to show and to offer. I am sure that this train will be called-for both by citizens of Karelia, and by Finnish citizens. Perhaps, travelling long distances by car is not quite comfortable. Travelling by train is much more convenient and more comfortable. The interest is very high.

The proof to it is the fact that train tickets were bought up almost at once, and a week before the departure there remained only five upper berths. The train consists of 6 compartment coaches and one luxury car.

As representatives of the railway have explained, further run of trains will depend, first of all, on the demand. It is planned that at the first stage of implementation of the project tourist trains will run according to applications of travel agencies. According to Oleg Nikitin, the next train will go to Joensuu on the eve of March, 8. In the long term, under condition of growth of the volume of traffic flow, Federal Passenger Company Inc. will be able to establish regular passenger transportation.

Let us add, that today, on December 29, the train has arrived in Joensuu at about 9 a.m. The tourists will relax, enjoy some shopping and excursions, and the official delegation of the republic will take part in the business program.

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Created: December 29, 2012. Last updated: December 29, 2012.
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