The Turku One Hour Train Project Company will oversee the Helsinki - Turku high-speed project, while the Suomirata Project Company will manage planning for the new Riihimäki - Tampere line. The Finnish government holds a 51% stake in each company.

“The establishment of the companies is an important step in our efforts to promote two major rail projects and receive full EU support,” says Finnish minister of transport and communications, Mr Timo Harakka. “In addition to the state, the project companies involve a total of 26 cities and municipalities, as well as [Finnish airport operator] Finavia. Investing in rail transport is essential as we move towards sustainable mobility.”

The 49% of shares in the Suomirata Project Company are held by Finavia and the municipalities of Helsinki, Tampere, Vantaa, Hämeenlinna, Janakkala, Riihimäki, Lahti, Akaa, Jyväskylä, Oulu, Pori, Seinäjoki, Vaasa, Kangasala, Nokia, Orivesi, Pirkkala, Ylöjärvi, Kokkola and Parkano.

Mr Kari Savolainen has been appointed as chairman of the board of Suomirata Project Company, alongside deputy chairman, Mr Pekka Timones, and seven other board members.

“The Riihimäki - Tampere line is one of the most significant infrastructure projects since Finland’s impedance,” Savolainen says. “Efficient logistical connections from the Helsinki metropolitan area to the north are vital for Finland's competitiveness in terms of both passenger and freight traffic. It is also significant from the point of view of accessibility that the Suomirata Project Company enables the integration of rail traffic and air traffic into efficient travel chains.”

The 49% of shares in the Turku One Hour Train Project Company are held by Turku, Espoo, Helsinki, Salo, Lohja, Vihti and Kirkkonummi. The company’s board of directors has 13 members, with Ms Minna Forsström appointed as chairwoman and Ms Eeva-Liisa Virkkunen as deputy chairwoman.

“I consider this railway project important, and it is great to get involved in setting the conditions well into the future,” Forsström says. “The Turku One Hour Train is a major project that is truly a climate act and creates a sustainable basis for Finnish wellbeing.”

Suomirata has an estimated cost of €5.5bn and the line is forecast to carry around 6.5 million passengers a year. The €2.2bn Helsinki - Turku high-speed line is expected to carry around 1.6 million passengers annually.

For detailed data on Finnish rail projects, see IRJ Pro.