TTR002 Finnish railways part1 south

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Finland is an unknown gem to the rail fan or tourist, modern, 200kph electric high speed trains ply over a complex and well maintained network, while rail-freight use is high by European standards and growing, thanks to a profusion of rail linked facilities and the Russian connection. The film shows Finnish Railways (VR) today,  what their plans are for tomorrow, and includes footage at facilities usually out of public view. We look at the capital Helsinki, its Art Deco Central Station, suburban and InterCity rail services, tram system and museum and the two rail connected ports: travel on the S220- Pendolino towards Turku. In Turku, on the Baltic coast to the west, we experience the unreal shunting in a driverless locomotive at the dock.  Rail ferry traffic between Sweden and Finland  is examined and  we take a detailed look at how bogies are changed to allow running on the Finnish "broad gauge", visit STEVECO and VR at the Port of Kotka and watch VR wagons being unloaded and their cargoes being prepared for export. We watch the loading of rail wagons destined for Finnish glass makers, and review inward bound traffic from Russia, from the comfort of VR's traffic control centre. Finland's freight traffic is dominated by two features: Finnish produced exports moving to Finnish ports and Russian exports to Finnish customers or in transit to Finnish ice free ports. We see both! At Vainikkala an armed guard takes us to the point where east and west meet, and spend some time with VR handling Russian locomotives and wagons before they begin their transit of Finland. In central Finland chemical giant Kemira are our hosts and we see ammonium sulphate being made at their rail connected Harjavalta factory. Russian tank wagons in - Finnish tank wagons out! We take a day trip to Tallinn- capital of Estonia, 45 miles across the Baltic by Silja Line  where we get a further flavour of the Russian connection, including the departure of the day/night train to Moscow, a quick look at the city and then back to Helsinki on the bridge of Nordic Jet Line high speed Cat.  Narrated RT 125mins ©FHP 1999


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