Allegro increased train travel between Finland and Russia

Train travel between Russia and Finland grew considerably since the start of high-speed Allegro services exactly one year ago on 12 December 2010. By the end of November around 280 000 trips were made between Helsinki and St. Petersburg amounting to a nearly 50 per cent increase in comparison with a corresponding period last year.

The entire year's passenger volume is expected to be more than 300 000 whereas it was predicted previously that 250 000 passengers will travel on Allegro services this year. In 2010 around 200 000 train trips were made between Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The growth is due to the increased number of services in addition to reduced travel time and modern trains.

Allegro services started with two return services. At the end of May the number of daily return services grew to four. – The growth in the number of passengers on the Allegro is expected to continue. The aim is 500 000 trips per year by 2015 says VR's Director, Long-distance Services Ari Vanhanen. Most of the Allegro's passengers are Russian but the share of Finnish passengers has grown. The number of passengers from other countries arriving in Finland on Allegro has increased. According to a recent study on travel in neighbouring areas St. Petersburg is nearly as popular as a travel destination among Finns than Tallinn and Stockholm. Trips made by Finns to Russia are still mainly business trips whereas Russians come to Finland for the most part on leisure trips. Pricing reshaped Variable pricing was introduced for the Allegro on 11 December.

Fares are cheaper than at present for some departures and more expensive on the most popular services. The new pricing scheme aims to even out demand and offer passengers cheaper alternatives. Director, Long-distance Services Ari Vanhanen, VR, tel. +358 40 8621 766 VR Group is a versatile, environmentally friendly and responsible travel, logistics and infrastructure construction service company. VR Group provides employment for 12 000 professionals in Finland and ten European countries.

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