Assistance service is available at all stations with travel services. The request for assistance can be made up to 48 hours before the journey.
Ask the conductor
If you have any questions, turn to the conductors. Their job is to ensure that you have a pleasant journey.
Ensuring obstacle-free travel is an important consideration for us when we purchase new rolling stock and upgrade existing stock. VR is also a partner in development and research projects carried out by our stakeholder groups aimed at creating an obstacle-free service environment.
For ensuring a successful trip
- Check the availability of services for the disabled on the stations and trains you are planning to use.
- Please note that the number of wheelchair spaces is limited. You should therefore reserve your trip well in advance.
- If you require assistance at the station, you should contact the VR Customer Service at latest 48 hours before the trip. Read more about the assistance service here.
- Make sure not to underestimate your need for assistance, especially if you are unable to walk to the train or board the car unassisted.
- Make sure to have your own assistant if you use a train with no services for the disabled. An assistant should be on hand when you board the train and when you get off.
For more information about services for the disabled at the stations visit the VR Station Services page. There you will find information about the services and facilities available and you can also check whether a station has raised platforms.
You are entitled to travel in long distance trains with a Saver ticket or Basic ticket. An assistant may also accompany your during the journey in which case he/she can travel free of charge. Read more about the assistant's tickets here.
Make sure that you arrive at the station well in advance. For services and opening hours of the stations visit the Station Services page. Most stations are unmanned or have booking offices with limited opening hours.
Disabled parking places are available at most stations and they are located near the station building. For the location of parking places at stations and the availability of disabled parking, visit the to Station Services page.
Accessibility is a major consideration when station booking offices are refurbished and queuing number dispensers and ticket vending machines are also placed so that they can be easily used by passengers in wheelchairs.
Assistance at stations
1. If you have requested assistance, make sure that you arrive at the station no later than 20 minutes before the departure.
2. The service point is indicated with an international symbol. For the location of the service point at individual stations visit the Station Services page.
For safety reasons, VR staff are not allowed to lift a person from or to the wheelchair.
Most stations have public address systems and displays providing information about arrivals and departures. Changes in arrivals and departures are possible and information on them is provided in announcements and on information boards.
More information about assistance service at stations here.
On the platform
A number of stations have raised platforms (height 550 mm) allowing passengers in wheelchairs to board InterCity trains and low-floor suburban trains unassisted. For stations with raised platforms visit the Station Services page.
- You should be extremely careful when moving at the station in an electric wheelchair or a disabled moped, particularly when crossing the lines.
- At most stations platform edges have warning strips, which should only be crossed when the train has come to a halt.
- The largest stations have platform lifts for easier mobility. For more information about individual stations visit the Station Services page.
- A number of stations have electronic platform displays, which give the composition of the trains and the spot on which each car stops.
Boarding the train
Trains with services for the disabled have a ramp (InterCity trains) or a lift allowing you to board the car unassisted. The equipment may be only be used at stations with raised platforms because the platform surface and the train entrance must be on the same level. Click here for the platform information of individual stations.
- Train staff are happy to assist you in the use of the ramps and lifts on trains. VR only uses ramps and lifts that are specifically approved for the purpose.
- If you board a train at an intermediary station, check the platform signs for the location of your car. This makes it easier for the conductor to spot and assist you.
- Please note that you and your personal helper are responsible for the use of the aids you need for getting on and off the train (such as wheelchairs).
- The VR-provided assistant will show you to your seat at the station of departure. When boarding the train from intermediate stations the assistant will make sure that you can board the train safely but cannot - for safety reasons - escort you to your seat.
- All long-distance trains (except for a number of express and regional trains) have onboard services for the disabled.
- You can ask train staff for assistance in the purchase of products on sale in the dining car.
- Our trains are equipped with a public address and information system, which keep you up-to-date on departure and arrival times and intermediary stops. On InterCity trains and Pendolinos, the information provided through the public address system is also displayed on monitors.
- In the new rolling stock, seat numbering in Braille and contrasting colour surfaces both inside and outside the compartments make travelling easier for passengers with impaired visibility.
Contrasting colours also help in the distinguishing of door openings, walls, door-opening buttons and stairs.
Passengers with guide or helper dogs
- We recommend the use of the compartment with pet spaces or the adjoining compartment, which has a seat reserved for passengers with guide dogs.
- On a sleeping car, a guide dog can travel free of charge when accompanied by the owner. In that case, the passenger must travel in the end compartment and reserve it for his/her exclusive use.
- Click here for more information about travelling with a guide dog.
Passengers with hearing disabilities
- Induction loops are available on the lower-level compartments of the double-deck InterCity service cars. They allow passengers using hearing aids to listen to onboard announcements.
- Hearing dogs accompanied by their hearing-impaired owners can occupy pet spaces or travel on the lower-level compartment of the InterCity service cars.
- Aids needed by mobility-impaired passengers during the train trip are transported as luggage free of charge on trains with services for the disabled or if disabled passengers are accompanied by a personal helper.
- A passenger accompanied by a helper dog may occupy the space on the service car reserved for the disabled.
- Passengers using medical ventilators should note that there may be interruptions to the power supply of the in-seat power outlets. The medical ventilator should therefore always be on battery power during the journey.
- InterCity trains have separate two-seat and four-seat cabins for allergic passengers. The cabins are located on the mezzanine level of car 1 on each train.
- Sleeping cars also have separate compartments for allergic passengers.
- Pendolinos do not have any separate seats for allergic passengers as all seats on them (except those on car 6) are suitable for those suffering from allergies.
- On trains with services for the disabled, the conductor is happy to assist passengers in wheelchairs to get off the train.
- If you have booked an assistant to your destination station the assistant will come to meet you at your seat if your station is the train’s terminal station. If you get off at an intermediate station, the assistant will meet you at the platform. The assistant will wait for you on the platform as close to the announced stopping place of the car as possible.
- On trains with no services for the disabled, you must rely on the assistance of your own personal helper.
- You should turn to the train staff for assistance in the use of ramps and lifts.
Free service number for disabled customers
As of 1 January 2017, VR will introduce a free service number for customers with disabilities. Services for disabled customers, e.g. assistance service at stations, can be booked from this number. The new service number is 08001-66888 and the service is open every day from 7 to 22.
Services of different types of train
Read more about the services for the disabled on different types of train.
Opening the inner doors of the cars
The inner doors of the latest stock are electrically operated. The door-opening button is located on the right side of the door.
Station Assistance services
As of 1 January 2017, the time for meeting the assistance service at the station will change. For assistance booked after 1 January 2017, the new meeting time will be 20 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train. The meeting time will be confirmed to the customer when the assistance service is booked. The assistance service is available at 37 stations and in addition to station ticket offices, it can also be booked by phoning VR’s Services for the disabled tel. 08001-66888 at the latest 48 hours before departure. The number is free.
More information on the Assistance service
Customer service in railcars
Railcar services operate without train personnel. In these services the driver will operate the wheelchair lift.
Service alterations as a result of track works
The Finnish Transport Agency is carrying out extensive track works in order to improve the national rail network. These track works will lead to service alterations and changes to the availability of certain train carriages. Some train services will be replaced by buses that do not have improved accessibility for disabled passengers.
We recommend that you check replacement services from our online store before travelling. For more information on service alterations and planned track works, please visit Track work.