Measures to reduce the journey time for passengers traveling between Helsinki and St. Petersburg are being implemented as quickly as possible. A Finnish delegation led by Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Juhani Korpela was satisfied with the results of a meeting of the joint committee of the Finnish and Russian Transport Ministries which took place yesterday in Moscow.
At the meeting a decision was taken to set up a working group to prepare an interim paper on implementing a high-speed railway project. It will be presented for consideration to the Finnish-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation. The next meeting will be held at the end of April.
According to the Finnish Transport Ministry's press office, Russia and Finland have already begun developing the railway infrastructure in their countries. The Russian and Finnish governments have set themselves the target of reducing the journey time between Helsinki and St. Petersburg to 3 hours by 2008. It currently stands at 5 hours and 15 minutes. With this aim in mind it is planned to upgrade the infrastructure and speed up passport and customs formalities. The committee is also looking at the possibility of using only one locomotive instead of the current two, which would reduce the journey time by 35 minutes.