In railway photography timing is everything. In Finland, some of the mystery of when trains operate has been revealed through the miracle of a public service application for smart phones and mobile devices.
Thanks to the careful attention of my guides. Petri and Pietu Tuovinen, and Markku Pulkinen, we arrived at the timber loading terminal at the end of a lightly used VR branch just in time to catch the arrival of this VR empty timber train.
In the lead were a pair of venerable Dv12 diesel-hydraulic locomotives. These are the GP9s of Finland and have worked all types of traffic.
The overgrown branch line with very light rail is a total contrast with Finland’s mainlines, which feature excellent track and manicured infrastructure.
An old light 2-8-0 is positioned near the end of track as a display. Finland was still operating wood-fired steam in revenue service into the 1970s.
I’ve featured Helsinki Central in several books. It will be among the stations covered in my next book on railway terminals, stations and depots. This busy city center station was the inspiration for Buffalo Central Terminal and Cincinnati Union Station.
Last night I made these views at dusk using my FujiFilm X-T1 with a 27mm pancake lens.
I’ll be traveling in Finland for the next ten days.
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.
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.