Roughly a dozen companies have announced their interest in competing with VR on the railways of Finland, Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, revealed in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat on Saturday.
“We've met with some and received proposals from some. We're currently evaluating [the options] and considering what would be best for Finland,” she said.
Berner reminded that the national rail network is unlikely to have room for more than a couple of competitors in the first stage of de-regulation. The Government, she added, is intent on de-regulating rail transport in a gradual and rational manner.
The Government is expected to finalise its proposal on the matter by March, according to Berner.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will also have to re-negotiate its contract with VR that grants the state-owned railway company a monopoly in long-distance passenger services until the end of 2024. The contract negotiations are being conducted in good spirits, Berner said to Helsingin Sanomat.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Petteri Paalasmaa – Uusi Suomi
Source: Uusi Suomi