Train travel and safety

This is how we ensure your safety.

A summary of train travel during COVID-19

We will continuously update this website regarding your safety and possible changes to your travelling.

The most frequently asked question

Wearing face masks on trains

You can buy hand sanitiser and a face mask from conductors on long-distance trains. In Ekstra Class, the face mask and the empty seat next to you are included in the price of the ticket from 26 October onwards. 

Read more about the use of face masks

Compartment of your own

Book for yourself or for your group

Now you can book a 2- or 4-person compartment for yourself, subject to an additional charge. A compartment of your own is a convenient option when you want to travel in peace and quiet, whether alone or with a group.

Read more about cabins

Ticket sales on trains are suspended

Please purchase your ticket before boarding the train. Additional services, such as pet spaces, can still be purchased from the conductor. Please note that conductors still inspect tickets on trains.

Buy your ticket online

Own space and more travel comfort

We want to make travelling as stress-free as possible, for all of our customers. Now you can book an entire compartment for yourself (subject to an additional charge), whether travelling alone or with a group. You can also book an empty seat next to you.

Compartment of your own

You can book an entire compartment for yourself in the VR Matkalla app and ticket vending machines.

  • A compartment is a peaceful place to work or relax, for instance

  • Compartments have tables and power sockets for charging electronic devices

  • You can purchase a compartment for a group with a maximum of four persons

  • Passengers belonging to a discount group get the normal discount on their ticket also when travelling in a compartment

  • A compartment may only be booked in connection with the purchase of a basic ticket

  • The compartment price is not fixed but depends on the route you select, the date and time, the number of passengers and how close to the departure you are purchasing the ticket

  • After the introduction of this service, we will no longer sell individual compartment seats for a train

  • Purchasing cancellation insurance for a train ticket in a compartment is currently not possible

  • If you need to change the date and time of your journey, you can do this by calling our customer service number +358 (0)800 166 888 (free of charge). A change fee of EUR 5 will be charged.

Purchase a compt. in the app

Booking an empty seat

You can book an empty seat on the shop.vr.fi website, by calling our customer care at 0600 41 900 (EUR 1.99 per answered call + local network charge) or by visiting our service points at stations.

  • An empty seat is clearly cheaper than a normal ticket

  • For instance, with adults’ Saver Ticket for the journey from Helsinki to Tampere (EUR 8.90), the price of booking an empty seat next to you is EUR 3.20, which will be added to the ticket price

  • When you purchase an empty seat, check the coach map to ensure that the empty seat is next to you

  • You can also purchase an empty seat in the Ekstra Class, the upstairs of the restaurant car and a coach with pet area, provided that the seat is next to you

  • The empty seat is subject to the same cancellation terms and conditions as the actual train ticket

  • You can book the empty seat next to you on shop.vr.fi by choosing "Empty seat next to me" from the passenger selection.

Empty seat at shop.vr.fi

How we make train travel as safe as possible

In close cooperation with authorities, we try to make train travel as risk-free as possible. By taking this checklist into account, you can help us make our journeys together safer.

5 steps we take to look after you

  1. Clean trains. We clean our trains and premises more intensively with disinfecting cleaning products and disinfection equipment. Major stations are equipped with hand sanitiser stations, and hand sanitiser dispensers can be found on our trains.

  2. Safe distance. We aim to minimise personal contact with customers and among our personnel. No tickets are sold on board long-distance trains for the time being. Tickets can be bought in advance using our digital sales channels without any need for personal contacts. The ticket offices in Helsinki and Tampere are open. You can contact us by phone and on social media.

  3. More flexibility in train tickets. More Saver Tickets are available for off-peak train services compared to normal. In case of any disruptions, we will extend the validity period of multi-tickets.

  4. Coaches added to trains. We have added more coaches to busy train services, and we monitor the traffic situation on a constant basis. Our sales channels use an algorithm that selects seats as far from other passengers as possible.

  5. Healthy on board. Our personnel only work when they are healthy. Everyone at VR carefully adheres to the guidelines for tracing and breaking potential chains of transmission. If a passenger gets respiratory symptoms on board a train, we provide them with a respiratory mask and separate them from other passengers.

5 tips for train travel

  1. Getting there together in good health. Let’s travel only when healthy.

  2. Getting there together digitally. Buy your ticket safely without contact on your own device and, on the coach map, select a seat surrounded by as much empty space as possible. You must reserve a seat on the train even if you have a multi-ticket. You can also change seats during the journey within the same class, if you wish to do so.

  3. Getting there together at a safe distance. When possible, avoid peak hours and remember to keep a safe distance also when boarding and exiting the train. As far as possible, choose a train outside of peak hours. Weekday mornings, afternoons, Friday evenings and Sundays are peak hours.

  4. Getting there together hygienically. Ensure good hand hygiene and hygienic coughing and sneezing throughout the journey. Also avoid unnecessary touching of surfaces.

  5. Getting there together in good spirits. With cooperation, a positive attitude and care for each other, we can reach our destination safely!

Are face masks obligatory on trains?

In light of the new official recommendation, we strongly recommend the use of face masks on both long-distance and commuter trains. Our own personnel wear face masks on the train throughout their shifts.

You can buy a Finnish face mask from conductors on long-distance trains and at our service points in Helsinki and Tampere before your journey. The price of a face mask on the train and at service points is EUR 3.00.

We have also responded to wishes about a car in which all passengers wear face masks.

From 26 October onwards, an Ekstra Class ticket will include an empty seat next to you and the conductor will provide you with a face mask. Passengers must wear a face mask in Ekstra Class. 

Are restaurant cars open as usually?

By order of the Government, we will close the restaurant cars daily at 01.00. Alcohol sales ends at 24.00.

Is it safe to travel by train?

We do everything in our power to ensure the safety of our passengers. We follow the guidelines of THL and other authorities carefully.

All in all, we have taken around a hundred individual measures to promote the safety of train travel in these exceptional circumstances.

Has the number of train services returned to normal and are the trains full?

At the moment, we operate around 90% of the long-distance train traffic compared to the situation before the epidemic. Our commuter train traffic services have returned to normal.

All in all, there are plenty of seats available on trains. The average capacity utilisation rate of trains is still lower than it was one year ago, and the number of full trains is clearly smaller. We operate almost all our normal services and use nearly all our rolling stock in order to ensure sufficient space on trains.

How can I keep a safe distance on the train?

The train is the most spacious form of public transport. However, it must be admitted that keeping a sufficient safe distance throughout the journey may be challenging in public transport at peak times. People must move around in order to keep the wheels of society turning.

However, we have taken measures to minimise the risk of infections. You can now purchase an empty seat next to you or reserve an entire compartment. In addition, our algorithms always maximise your distance to other passengers.

What are the terms and conditions for train ticket changes and cancellations?

We have returned to using the regular terms and conditions for train ticket changes and cancellations. Check the terms and conditions for your ticket from the ticket page.

Can I change my seat during a long distance train trip if there are empty seats available?

When booking your long-distance train ticket, you can already choose a seat in a less crowded area on the seat map. If you wish, you can also move to sit in a less crowded area during the train trip, provided that there are empty seats available in the same travel class. Please note that new passengers may get on the train on each station, so you may need to change your seat again. You can always ask help from the conductor.

How can I change my Interrail Pass?

  • If you have purchased your Interrail Pass from VR, you can postpone or cancel your unused pass at our service points. Our service points in Helsinki and Tampere are open.

  • Please also note that you have to bring your physical Interrail Pass and ticket folder with you when going to a VR service point.

  • If you have purchased your Interrail Pass from the interrail.eu site, you can find the most up-to-date instructions here.

Full-price Interrail Pass. Pass purchased prior to April 1, 2020, and unused:

  • You can reschedule the validity period of your pass. The pass must be rescheduled by April 30, 2021

  • You can cancel the pass free of charge  

Promotional price Interrail Pass. Pass purchased prior to April 1, 2020, and unused:

  • You can reschedule the validity period of your pass. The pass must be rescheduled by April 30, 2021

  • You can cancel the pass for a 15% cancellation fee

What does VR do if it suspects a passenger on a train has a coronavirus infection?

We are prepared for cases of suspected infections on our trains. We have prepared guidelines together with THL, and our train personnel follows these guidelines.

  • If there is any reason to suspect an infection, the passenger in question is moved further away from other passengers. Where possible, a private WC is reserved for the passenger to minimise the risk of further infections.

  • We have equipped our long-distance trains with respiratory masks and protective gloves that will be used for protecting the personnel and the person suspected of having the infection.

  • The contact information of passengers is taken down for reporting purposes

  • The passenger suspected of having the infection is directed to healthcare services, in accordance with THL’s instructions.

In the case of a confirmed coronavirus infection, the health authorities will contact people who have had close contact with the infected person.