Network statement of VR-Group Plc’s private sidings 2024
1 Validity and communication about changes
This network statement of VR-Group Plc (hereinafter referred to as “VR”) is valid for the 2024 scheduling period of railway traffic from 10 December 2023 to 14 December 2024.
A note about the changes will be made on the front page of this network statement.
2 Railway network
2.1 Description, quality and extent of the railway network
The rail traffic operating points have been listed at the end of this page.
Railway track diagrams provide information on the greatest technical speeds on the tracks and the control-command and signalling system devices. Railway track diagrams are available on the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's website at https://extranet.vayla.fi (in case you need login ID's, contact the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency).
The railway network belongs to a second and first class traffic control area, as shown in the railway track diagrams. The traffic is always operated as a shunting work. The permit for shunting and track work is given by the infrastructure manager of the railway network in the form of an access agreement. In addition, for shunting and track work in the first-class traffic control area, there must also be a permit from the traffic control in accordance with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s guideline “Safety rules for train traffic and shunting work”.
On the railway network, the greatest permitted axle load is 225 kN and for the rolling stock operated on the Government's railway network it is in accordance with the permit given by the Finnish Transport Agency to that railway network. If the greatest allowed axle load on the rail track is lower for rail-technical reasons, this will be indicated by the Limitation of Shunting and Railway Work sign.
The signs, indicators and signposts of the railway track are similar to and have the same meanings as those given by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency in the Government's railway network.
Interruptions to traffic due to work on the railway network are marked in accordance with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency’s “Technical rules and guidelines for fixed instal-lations of railway (RATO) 17 guide, The Signs and Indicators” issued for the Government's railway network.
The smallest curvature radius in the railway network's switching areas is 150 m, and smallest curvature radius for tracks is 150 m.
Some of the tracks of the railway network are electrified, with the electrification system being 25kV/50 Hz AC.
All the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's instructions mentioned in this network statement are available at https://ava.vaylapilvi.fi/ava/Julkaisut/OL/rautatieohjeet.pdf.
2.2 Conditions for the use of the railway network
Traffic on the railway network requires making an access agreement in accordance with item 4 of this railway network statement.
The traffic must comply with the security instructions mentioned in item 8 for shunting and track work of VR's railway network.
People moving on the railway network must carry a visible personal identity card and be clad in protective clothing, which allows the identification of the employer of the person in question.
The operating instructions for turntables are attached to those tables.
2.3 Limitations for the use of the railway network
Work on a railway track of the railway network can limit the use of the railway network.
Various kinds of technical faults, properties of the railway network, damage or accidents may also cause limitations to the use of the railway network.
Steam locomotives or rolling stock that may cause a fire danger cannot be used for traffic without the permission of the contact person specified for the traffic point.
Dangerous substances cannot be transported without the permission of the contact person specified for the traffic point.
Idling of the units should be avoided.
2.4 Priority rules for the traffic on the railway network
The railway network is formed of many separate and different traffic points. To ensure a smooth flow of traffic, the prioritisation primarily concerns passenger traffic units as specified in the capacity allocation by the railway network of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency; the freight traffic units are secondary in this prioritisation.
The units running to service points move primarily in accordance with the schedules agreed on for the use of the service points. If the services have not been scheduled, the units will move in order of arrival. These units must, by all means possible, facilitate smooth, safe and unhindered traffic.
2.5 Requirements concerning the rolling stock units
Traffic on the railway network is allowed for rolling stock units which have an authorisation and which have been listed on the rolling stock register of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.
2.6 Changes to the railway network
As part of its normal processes, VR investigates the complete decommissioning of railway tracks which are not relevant to the railway system.
2.7 Track works and their impact on the availability of the railway network
During the scheduling period, the following track works with an impact on traffic are carried out on VR's network:
- Replacement of the Oulu switchboards V267, V268 and V270 and the superstructure of the tracks r254, r255 and r256 (increasing the rail weight). Estimated time of implementation is 2023–2024.
- Replacement of the superstructure of some tracks in Pieksämäki, the exact tracks will be specified later. Implementation in 2023 and 2024.
- Replacement of the Kouvola switchboard V117 and the superstructure of the tracks r322, r323 and r321. Time of implementation is 2024.
- Demolish and taking out of use of all tracks in the Turku railway yard. Estimated time of implementation is in the end of 2024 –2025. Demolition work starts when the tracks are replaced, and the new tracks can be taken into use (as part of the Kupittaa-Turku railway project led by Finnish Transport Agency).
The aforementioned track works are the best estimates of the works to be carried out during the scheduling period according to this network statement at the time of the publication. The implementation and scope of implementation also depend on the funding. The network statement will be updated when the dates of the track works and their effects on traffic become more precise.
3 Access to the railway network
Operators of rail traffic who have made an access agreement of the railway network with VR are allowed traffic operations in the traffic points and tracks described in the agreement.
The operators of rail traffic must be in possession of the safety certificate and operating licence granted by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The safety certificate can be applied for from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom or the European Railway Agency (ERA) and the operating licence from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom (https://www.traficom.fi/en/transport/rail/finnish-railway-market).
Moving rolling stock units without a safety certificate is only permitted under the conditions stipulated in the Rail Transport Act and in accordance with a separate operating instructions issued by the infrastructure manager at any given time.
Railway traffic operators must hold adequate liability insurance or a comparable arrangement.
4. Access agreement of the railway network
Access agreements of the railway network concern traffic operations during the scheduling period of 2024.
The access agreement is specified for the traffic operating point and, if needed, for individual tracks as well.
The operator of railway traffic must inform, on 31 July 2023 by the latest, the contact person of access agreements about the need to make one.
Traffic on railway network is allowed only if the operator of the railway traffic signs the access agreement on 13 October 2023, at the latest.
In cases where the use of the railway network is urgent, the contact person for access agreements should be contacted.
5 Applying for rail capacity
No rail capacity is allocated on the railway network.
6 Use rights for service points and provision of services
VR offers, under the Access to service facilities regulation’s and Rail Transport Act's service obligation, the following services whose descriptions with their pricing models can be found by clicking the name of the service in question. A service agreement will be made with each buyer of the service. None of the prices include value added tax (VAT 0%).
1. Rental of premises
- Passenger stations, buildings belonging to them and other facilities, such as travel information display and announcement services and areas suitable for ticket sales. Although VR's passenger stations are located on the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency's rail network (https://vayla.fi/palveluntuottajat/ammattiliikenne-raiteilla/rautateiden-verkkoselostus/rataverkon-palvelun-tarjonta), the service descriptions concerning them can also be accessed through this network statement.
- Maintenance facilities (with the exception of heavy maintenance facilities dedicated to high-speed trains or to other types of rolling stock requiring specific facilities).
2. Depot sidings
3. Freight terminals
- Riihimäki freight terminal
- Roundwood terminal services
- Kouvola freight traffic terminal (Cargo East Terminal)
4. Marshalling yards and train formation facilities, including shunting facilities
5. Service and maintenance services
6. Rescue and assistance services
7. Refuelling service
7 Track access charges
For the scheduling period specified in this network statement, there will be no track access charges.
8 Security instructions on shunting and track work by the infrastructure manager of the railway network
These instructions must be followed in shunting and track work on VR’s network.
In addition, railway traffic operating point-specific instructions given by the infrastructure manager must be complied with on VR-Group Plc’s railway network (https://www.vrgroup.fi/fi/vrgroup/yrityksemme/liiketoiminta/kiinteistot/yksityisraiteiden-verkkoselostus/liikennepaikkakohtaiset-ohjeet/)
The operating language must be Finnish.
All faults and deviations related to the tracks and their equipment as well as issues that could endanger shunting or track work, wagon unloading or loading or the use of network services, must be reported to the VR’s Operations Centre, which will ensure that the necessary parties are informed.
8.2 Accidents and incidents
Accidents and incidents must be reported to the emergency telephone number 112.
Accidents and incidents related to electrification must also be reported to the Operating Centre.
8.3 Competences and qualifications
The railway operator and the party responsible for the track work must ensure that its employees are suitably skilled and qualified for the work in question.
8.4 Shunting work
Shunting work may only be carried out by a railway operator which has concluded a network access agreement.
Shunting work must comply with the guidelines for shunting work for the Government's railway network and the regulations of the authorities.
The replacement work must be carried out by using the service brakes of the rolling stock.
Rolling stock must not be parked in such a way as to obstruct traffic on fire roads, at railway level crossings, in areas intended for use by road traffic for crossing tracks or in switching areas.
The immobilisation of parked rolling stock must be ensured.
8.5 Track and fire work
Track work refers to work that:
- is carried so that the machinery or part of it may reach the structure gauge of the track (ATU),
- affects the structure or equipment of the track,
- requires a planned power shortage,
- requires the interruption of shunting work; or
- affects the unloading/loading of wagons or the use of network services.
Track work may only be carried out by an operator who has concluded a network maintenance agreement with VR.
Before the start of the work and, if necessary, during the work, the operator responsible for the track work must familiarise its personnel involved in the work with these instructions and the conditions of the work in question as well as the hazards associated with the work.
Track work must comply with VR's maintenance plan.
Fire work must be authorised in writing by the network maintenance operator.
The operator responsible for the track work must:
- Ensure the protection of track work in such a way that it does not pose a risk to shunting work or to the use of railway network services.
- If necessary, prevent shunting work and/or use of the service.
- Ensure that, prior to permitting shunting and/or use of the service, the area that is the subject of the track work is in good condition according to VR's maintenance plan.
8.6 Situations of malfunction
Trailing of a point must be notified to the railway maintenance supervision manager or to the network maintenance operator.
After trailing the point, a visual inspection should be carried out to see if the point can be operated. On the basis of the inspection, shunting and track work as well as the use of a possible network service must be prevented, if necessary, or, if no reason is detected that prevents the shunting or track work or the use of the service, it must be ensured that shunting and track work is carried out at a maximum speed of 5 km/h.
9 Responsibilities and dispute settlement
The operator of railway traffic will be responsible for any damage it may have caused to the railway network and for indirect damage caused to VR.
The operator carrying out track work will be responsible for any damage it may have caused to the railway network and for indirect damage caused to VR.
VR is responsible for any direct damage to the operator's rolling stock or its load caused by negligence of a task or responsibility of VR as the infrastructure manager.
Disputes related to access to the railway network or service points must be primarily solved by negotiation. If no consensus is reached in the matter, the infrastructure manager will decide upon the matter, keeping in mind equality and non-discrimination. If the party concerned is dissatisfied with the decision of the infrastructure manager, it can file a claim for rectification with the Regulatory Body or bring the matter to investigation by the Regulatory Body in accordance with section 151 or section 152 of the Rail Transport Act.
Unless otherwise stated in the Rail Traffic Liability Act, the party breaching the terms of this network statement must compensate for the direct damage caused by its contractual breach to VR, except when the breach of contract is due to some force majeure event.
However, the operator of railway traffic is also responsible for indirect damage if it has caused environmental damage or other environmental harm. For example, VR is entitled to a full compensation for the costs it incurs resulting from cleaning up contaminated land mass.
Unless otherwise stated in the Rail Traffic Liability Act, VR’s liability is limited in all cases to EUR 20,000.
If the breach is intentional or due to gross negligence, VR will be compensated not only for direct damage but also for indirect damage.
10 Contact details
Urgent matters: Transport Manager of the VR’s Operations Centre +358 3 072 0568
Network statement, access agreements and safety: Teemu Hyvönen, +358 40 862 1401
Contact person for services: Individually mentioned in each service point description
Our e-mail addresses are the form of [email protected]
Railway traffic operating points owned by the VR Group Plc
Detailed railway track diagrams by traffic point are available from the Track Information Extranet service maintained by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency: https://extranet.vayla.fi. Possible missing login IDs can be obtained from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency by filling in the access application on the following website: https://vayla.fi/palveluntuottajat/aineistot/ratatiedon-extranet#.XW-MJWdlL-g
Iisalmi’s industrial tracks
Ilmala (partially electrified)
Joensuu (partially electrified)
Kaipiainen (partially electrified)
Kemi (partially electrified)
Kouvola (partially electrified)
Kuopio (partially electrified)
Oulu (partially electrified)
Pieksämäki (partially electrified)
Tampere (partially electrified)
Turku (partially electrified)