Helsinki Central Railway Station on February 13, 2024. Fintraffic's traffic controllers did not go to their shifts on Tuesday as part of a series of political strikes by trade unions opposing the government's planned changes to working life. Additionally, for safety reasons, VR cancels long-distance train services on Tuesday due to track damage. LEHTIKUVA

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VR, the Finnish state-owned railway company, announces a partial resumption of its long-distance train services for Wednesday, February 14, following a complete halt due to safety concerns. Approximately half of the normal service will be operational, including all night trains and rail buses. Some trains will be canceled, and others will be replaced by bus services. Travelers can check the status of their train on VR's website at vr.fi.

The suspension of services on Tuesday across all of Finland was a precautionary measure after wheel damage caused by track faults was discovered on train carriages and engines. The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency inspected over 700 km of track, locating the damage between Lahti and Kouvola on the Mankala-Niinimäki section. The track has now been repaired and is safe for travel.

The track damage has significantly impacted VR's fleet, with over 70% of the trains having traversed the affected section. The resumption of services will proceed as each train undergoes thorough checks to ensure they are fit for operation. Safety remains VR's utmost priority.

Wednesday will see about half of the usual services running, with all night trains and rail buses operating as normal. Some cancellations will also affect local commuter services due to the proximity of the track damage to commuter lines. Updates on individual train services are available on VR's website and the junaliikenne.nyt platform.

VR's Long-Distance Service Director, Piia Tyynilä, expressed regret over the inconvenience caused to passengers, emphasizing that the measures taken were necessary for traffic safety. "We are doing everything possible to expedite the inspection of our train fleet and ensure the safety of our operations. Additional services will be introduced as trains are cleared for travel. We aim to normalize commuter traffic by Thursday and ensure that the ski holiday traffic on Friday proceeds as smoothly as possible," Tyynilä stated.

Passengers are advised to check the junaliikenne.nyt website for real-time updates and instructions on alternative travel options or bus services accepting original train tickets. Those wishing to change their travel date for long-distance tickets can do so without a change fee, provided it's done before the original departure time. Refunds for canceled trips are available through instructions on the vr.fi website.

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