Information published on 24 November 2010 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 213.

Russia/Finland: Russian and Finnish railways agree to expand cooperation

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On 23 November in Moscow, Russian Railways’ Vice-President Vadim Morozov and Mikael Aro, President of the Finnish railway company VR Group Ltd, signed a memorandum of intent on cooperation between the two companies in international container freight services.

The parties intend to create and offer the international transport market a competitive transport product, carrying cargo in container trains between Russia and Finland. Russian Railways and VR Group Ltd intend to make preparations for setting technical, technological and tariff terms for services on the Helsinki – Moscow route.

The main goal of the companies’ cooperation is to attract additional freight flows to railway transport, develop competitive market proposals in rail transport and logistics, increase the share of rail on the freight transport market, and also to reduce the environmental impact of container freight, while ensuring maximum safety.

The document was signed during the annual conference on Russian-Finnish direct rail services, held over the past few days in Moscow.

The Russian Railways Vice-President said the Russian and Finnish rail networks have all the necessary conditions for effective joint work. These include large reserves of line throughput capacity, border crossings, an up-to-date regulatory and legal framework, new capacity for transporting cars such as the Mikhnevo terminal, and joint ventures engaged in goods transport that can offer clients a full range of services and through rates. The companies also benefit from favourable tariffs – with the exceptional terms for container transport, coal, petrochemicals, and a range of other cargo set to remain in place in 2011.

“The growth of trade-economic relations between Russia and Finland during 2010 was reflected in the volumes of freight. In the first 10 months of this year they increased by 14%”, said Vadim Morozov.