Night train tickets to Finnish ski resorts in demand (and tax-free)
Finland’s national operator VR is seeing a big demand for night train services to the country’s major ski resorts. Demand is partly fuelled by the fact that tickets are tax-free until the end of April. Taking a night train to a holiday destination fits a wider European trend, however.
The peak of the holiday season is expected on Friday, February 17. Trains to Kemijärvi are already fully booked, with only a limited number of seats remaining on trains to Rovaniemi and Kolari. Departure journeys, too, are filling up fast. VR also notes that its Matkalla app is getting increased exposure. Earlier this month, a feature was added that allows travellers to order meals on board. It can now also be used to rent a car from the train stations in Rovaniemi and Kolari.
Last December, VR announced it would be purchasing a new night train fleet from Škoda Transtech, which includes total of nine sleeper coaches and eight car-carrier coaches. An option to purchase 30 more sleeper coaches and 30 additional car-carrier coaches was included in the contract. VR’s night trains currently comprise both newer and older rolling stock. The newer double-decker night train fleet is in use all year round on the routes Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi and Kolari.
Night trains to ski resorts are all the rage at the moment, following the successful comeback of sleeper services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, travel group TUI and GreenCityTrip launched a night train service between the Netherlands and Austria. That same month, the Ski Express Tirol was launched between the German metropolis Hamburg and the Austrian resort of St. Anton.