Finnish Electric at Speed, Oulu.

Panned with a Contax.

In July 2002, my friends Markku Pulkinnen and his wife Marja-Liisa hosted my visit to Oulu, Finland.

I’d taken an overnight train from Helsinki. Markku and I spent several days photographing VR (Finnish Railways) action around Oulu, before embarking on an adventure north of the Arctic Circle to explore Swedish iron ore railways.

I made this panned image one afternoon of a southward passenger train gaining speed after it departed the Oulu station. This is a common class Sr2 electric, a type derived from a Swiss prototype as used on the Bern–Lötschberg–Simplon (BLS) class 465 and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) class 460.

Exposed on Fujichrome with a Contax G2 rangefinder fitted with a 28mm Biogon lens.
Exposed on Fujichrome Sensia 100 with a Contax G2 rangefinder fitted with a 28mm Biogon lens. F22 1/30th of second. This was part of a sequence of images. I included an early image in the sequence in my book Railway Photography co-authored with John Gruber.

Although Finland is relatively flat, I found it a wonderful place to explore and make railway photos. In the summer, Oulu benefits from very long days. While the sun goes down, twilight remains through out the night. As result of Markku’s hospitality, I was afforded great insights into Finnish and Swedish railway operations.

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