Reader ‘s opinion Improvements to long-distance trains are coming for cyclists

By the end of next year, ten night train carriages will be renewed, with some of the seats replaced by bicycle seats.

Pekka Poutanen (HS 20.7.) and Maarit Kari (HS 19.7.) wanted more bike seats for long-distance trains. It is great that in Finland Traveling climate-friendly by bike as well as by train is of interest. We at VR also want to encourage this. The bicycle goes with most trains. Long-distance Intercity trains have 5 to 8 seats for wheels, depending on the train configuration.

In equipment procurement and development, we follow travel trends and take into account customers’ new expectations. We are also aware of the wishes associated with transporting bicycles. At the same time, there are many needs for the limited space on the train. In addition to the usual seats, there is a need for prams and wheelchairs, luggage storage facilities and toilets. Corridors must have sufficient space to move freely and safely, even in emergencies. For safety reasons, bicycles cannot be transported on the train other than when properly connected to the bike rack.

Poutanen proposes that space be provided for each IC train carriage, and also considers the use of an old luggage car or a Flirt commuter train to transport bicycles in long-distance traffic. However, the demand for bike seats is very seasonal: in summer the bike seats are popular, while for most of the year they are mostly empty. Old luggage wagons are not suitable for long-distance train configuration due to speed restrictions. Commuter trains, on the other hand, are designed for different needs than long-distance trains, and HSL Flirt trains are owned by a different company.

We are pleased with the increase in cycling and will soon be bringing the improvements we want our customers to make to bike transport on the train. For example, by the end of next year, we will renew ten night train carriages, where some of the seats have been replaced by bicycle seats. The revamped wagons have eight bike racks that are easier to use and can carry different models of bikes. The Bike Federation has been involved in the planning. We are looking for solutions to improve bike transport on day trains as well.

Piia Tyynilä

Director of Passenger Services, VR

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of the writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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