Hämeenlinna loses 14 train services in total
The train stop at Hämeenlinna does not elongate much the travel times. VR justifies the new timetables with speed.
VR weakens train connections from Hämeenlinna to the north and south. Seven train connections in the direction of Helsinki and seven in direction of Tampere, that each stop at Hämeenlinna, will disappear from timetables in June.
The trains change to VR’s “fast trains” that stop only at Pasila and Tikkurila between Helsinki and Tampere. These “fast trains” travel from Helsinki to Tampere 17 minutes faster than trains that stop at Hämeenlinna and some other bigger stations.
VR justifies the timetable changes with the fact that customers have especially wished for faster train connections than the current ones.
-We speed up the travelling there where it’s possible and where as many passengers as possible will benefit from it, VR’s long-distance traffic planning manager Antti Tuominen says in the company’s briefing.
According to the company’s study, 70 per cent of Finns wishes that trains would travel faster than they do currently. Now Tampere gets a train to Helsinki once in an hour that takes less than an hour and half.
To Hämeenlinna’s region, VR’s changes in train services mean a clear decline in the connections. In the future, only 22 express train level trains will leave from Hämeenlinna. Now at least 36 express train level trains leave from the city to the north and south.
The amount of commuter trains stopping at even small stations stays the same. These kinds of trains stopping at Ryttylä, Turenki, Hämeenlinna, Parola and Iittala will still have seven shifts in the direction of both the north and the south.
Flexible train connections, especially to the metropolitan area, are central to projects in which the region of Kanta-Häme is strived to develop as a part of the Helsinki-Hämeenlinna-Tampere -axis (HHT).
Juha Isosuo, the deputy mayor of Hämeenlinna, does not consider the timetable changes by VR as a desirable matter for Hämeenlinna. He says that the city tries in every way to impact VR in this affair.
-VR has justified the change to us with experiences and customer behaviour regarding the Helsinki-Turku -connection. However, the situation is sill different here as there’s no city between Helsinki and Turku that would be the same size as Hämeenlinna.
Isosuo believes that reducing train services does not alter the fact that the HHT-axis is Finland’s development nucleus.
-It’s not about distance, it’s about connections. VR’s decisions emphasize other connections.
VR starts using the new timetables on the 20th of June.
Trains pass by during summer
VR reduces trains stopping at Hämeenlinna during 20.6.-14.8.2016.
The following train services from Hämeenlinna to Tampere on weekdays will stop: at 7:11, 9:11, 12:11, 13:11, 15:11, 21:11, 22:11 and 0:11.
The following train services from Hämeenlinna to Helsinki on weekdays will stop: at 10:49, 11:49, 14:49, 16:49, 19:49, 22:49 and 23:49.
More information about the timetable changes during summer can be found on www.vr.fi.
Original article by: Arno Juutilainen and Markku Uhari
Link to original article: http://www.hameensanomat.fi/uutiset/kanta-hame/307282-hameenlinna-menettaa-yhteensa-14-junavuoroa