Helsinki commuter rail (Finnish: Pääkaupunkiseudun lähiliikenne/ Swedish: Huvudstadsregionens närtrafik) is the commuter rail system serving Greater Helsinki, Finland. The network is part of the HSL network, and is operated by VR, the Finnish state-owned national railway company. Together with the Helsinki Metro, buses, and trams, the network forms the heart of Helsinki’s public transportation infrastructure.
Interchangeable Tickets Across Services
Trains run primarily above ground in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Within the municipalities of Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen, Kerava, Kirkkonummi, and Vantaa, the system uses tickets that are interchangeable with the bus, metro, and tram networks managed by HSL. Traveling beyond Kerava and Kirkkonummi uses VR commuter tickets. HSL’s area is completely within VR zones A, B, and C.
The network is composed of 15 separate services, pictured in the network map below. They operate on four branches of railway lines that all begin, and terminate, at the Helsinki Central railway station. The system has a total of 70 stations, 14 of which are located within the city of Helsinki.
Rantarata (The Coastal/Turku Line)
The Y line is the longest line on the Coastal Line. It operates between Helsinki and Siuntio with very few intermediate stops. The services run quite infrequently, with three to seven daily departures in each direction, depending on the day of the week.
The U line runs from Helsinki to Kirkkonummi. It runs twice in an hour. It stops between Helsinki and Leppävaara only at Pasila and Huopalahti. Between Leppävaara and Kirkkonummi, it stops on every station.
The L line runs from Helsinki to Kirkkonummi. The service runs only at nights and on weekend mornings. There is one departure from Karis on Sunday mornings. It has more stops than any other train in this system, as it calls on every station between Karis and Helsinki.
Train line E runs from Helsinki to Kauklahti. It stops between Helsinki and Leppävaara only at Pasila and Huopalahti and between Leppävaara and Kauklahti at every station. It runs once in half an hour, except on Sundays, when there is no service.
Train A runs from Helsinki to Leppävaara. It stops at every station. It runs at 10-minute intervals during rush hours, otherwise at 20-minute intervals on working days and at 30-minute intervals on weekends.
The Ring Rail Line and Vantaankoski Line
Trains I and P run in opposing directions to each other in a ring pattern between Helsinki and Helsinki Airport in Vantaa. They stop at all stations. The I train runs counterclockwise, leaving from Helsinki, then passing through Tikkurila, then through Helsinki Airport, and through Martinlaakso back to Helsinki. The P train does this clockwise (in reverse), leaving from Helsinki, then passing through Martinlaakso, then through Helsinki Airport, and through Tikkurila back to Helsinki.
The Main/Riihimäki Line
Train K runs from Helsinki to Kerava. It runs once in every 10 minutes at daytime. It stops between Helsinki and Tikkurila at Pasila, Oulunkylä, Malmi and Puistola. Between Tikkurila and Kerava it stops at every station. An extension of the line to Nikkilä in Sipoo has been planned using a part of existing branch to Kilpilahti oil refinery.
Train N runs from Helsinki to Kerava. It stops at every station. The service runs when I and P services don’t (late night, early morning), replacing the K service. Last departures at night and on mornings are run as T trains.
Train T runs at night once in an hour from Helsinki to Riihimäki. There is a several hour gap in late night with no service. T stops at every station.
Train R runs from Helsinki to Riihimäki. It runs twice in an hour most of the day. All R trains have low floor fleet and timetable requires trains to be capable of 160 km/h speed. The trains stop between Helsinki and Riihimäki at Pasila, Tikkurila, Kerava, Ainola, Järvenpää, Saunakallio.
Train D runs from Helsinki to Riihimäki. It is a rush hour service stopping only at few stations.
The Lahti Line
Train Z runs from Helsinki to Lahti via the Kerava-Lahti railway line. It runs once in an hour.
The Riihimäki−Lahti Line
Train G runs from Riihimäki to Lahti and is the only lettered service not terminating in Helsinki. It stops at all intermediate stations.