VR and Yara collaborate for the environment – rail traffic between Yara’s factories will now run entirely on electric power

VR and the fertiliser specialist Yara have agreed to continue their cooperation with a long-term agreement where both companies commit to a joint development programme to maximise the efficiency of railway transports and minimise environmental impact. The carbon dioxide emissions from the railway transports covered by the cooperation are approaching zero. With the electrification of the Iisalmi-Ylivieska railway section, all railway traffic between Yara's Finnish plants will now be fully electrically driven.

"Electric traction is the most efficient way to reduce emissions from railway traffic. The electrification of the Iisalmi–Ylivieska railway has opened up an efficient route for freight traffic in northern Finland. With the electrification of the railway section, we have once again been able to increase the share of electrically driven traffic, which now accounts for around 80 per cent of all our railway freight traffic," says Joni Lehtonen, Vice President, Commercial, VR Transpoint.

Yara’s transport operations have also been made more efficient, as there is no longer any need to change the locomotive in Iisalmi or Ylivieska from electronically driven to to diesel driven or vice versa. Most of the locomotives are Vectron electric locomotives, which is the most powerful type VR uses. The emissions and noise impacts caused by rail transport will also decrease as a result of the change. In the future, the efficiency of transport will also be enhanced by increasing train sizes.

"Electrification of the railway line improves both operational reliability and the efficiency of rail logistics. The railway connection between Siilinjärvi and Kokkola has become increasingly important for Yara’s Siilinjärvi plant since the Saimaa canal was discontinued, says Tuomas Girsén, Plant Manager, Yara Siilinjärvi.

VR's aim is to further increase the share of electrically driven traffic. However, reaching this goal requires continuing the electrification of the railway network.

"Important electrification sites for freight traffic include the Kolari railway line, and the railway sections between Joensuu and Kontiomäki and Pieksämäki and Varkaus. The more goods are transported by rail, the more effectively we are able to reduce the total emissions from traffic. By making rail transport more popular, we can reduce the emissions of our customers and Finland as a whole,” Lehtonen says.


  • Approximately 22% of land transport in Finland is carried out by train.
  • Rail traffic accounts for only 1% of all transport emissions in Finland.
  • 80% of our freight trains and 95% of our passenger trains run on electricity with zero emissions.
  • About 60% of the railway network owned by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency has been electrified.

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