Allegro train operating between St. Petersburg and Helsinki (Finland) experienced huge problems after having collided with a fallen tree on the tracks in Finland last weekend causing passengers to be late for their connection flights and lose several hours during their trips due to poor performance of Finnish railways and authorities.
Traffic was brought to a standstill after Allegro crashed into a tree near Luumäki in the morning on August 13 which also interrupted energy supplies. The accident caused delays of other Allegros as the Vainikalla – Kouvola stretch was closed, and between Russian town of Vyborg and Finland’s Lappeenranta passengers were being transported by bus. As a result, passengers faced 5-hour delays.
Currently, there are four pairs of trains between the cities.
As we wrote in our news in January this year, the train is absolutely dependent on electricity, the absence of which totally shuts down all the amenities on board.
Fontanka.fi news website talked to one of the passengers stuck in the train that hit the tree on the tracks near Luumäki about his experiences. As he said, the train was still for about an hour, passengers were not even given any information about what had happened. Light and air conditioning were turned off, toilets were closed. One and a half hour later the personnel could open the train’s door. Food at the bistro was fastly sold out, including alcohol. Another train sent to take the passengers away arrived only three hour after the accident had happened, one more hour was spent to attach it to the damaged Allegro. The passengers were delivered to the nearest station of Luumäki (which was reportedly just 6 km away) about 6 hours after the accident. When at Luumäki, it was announced that the train would not go further and the passengers would travel by bus. The buses arrived only an hour later, some of the passengers reached Helsinki only at night instead of being there in the morning, thus, they lost the whole day.
Here we have questions for Finnish railway authorities who were obviously unprepared for such a breakdown. A lot of tourists were going to other destinations via Helsinki, so their tickets for ferry or plane were cancelled. Interestingly, that as the Fontanka’s speaker was told, there would be no any compensation for the delay since the fallen tree is a kind of force majeure.
It’s not difficult to imagine which consequences we would have seen if something more serious that just a fallen tree had happened.
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