Commuter train services
Commuter train services together with the metro form the backbone of the public transport system in the Helsinki region. All rail lines begin from the Central Railway Station and continue to different directions via Pasila. The 1960s saw a major renovation of the rail lines, and the first electric trains were introduced in 1969.
The Martinlaakso line was accomplished in 1975 and it was extended to Vantaankoski in 1991. The city rail link from Helsinki to Tikkurila was completed in 1996, and the city rail link between Tikkurila and Kerava in 2004. The introduction of the Leppävaara city rail link in 2002 enabled a substantial increase in rail service between Helsinki and Leppävaara. At the same time, the bulk of direct bus routes between Leppävaara and Helsinki were discontinued and replaced by feeder services to Leppävaara station. Work is under way to extend the rail link from Leppävaara to Espoon keskus.
The opening of the Kerava-Lahti direct line in fall 2006 substantially reduced the travel time between the Helsinki region and Lahti and attracted especially commuters to rail travel.
The Ring railway line currently under construction will connect the Vantaankoski line to the main line by extending the Vantaankoski line to Hiekkaharju via Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The line is scheduled to open in 2014.
Pisara rail link is an underground rail link planned to serve downtown Helsinki. The rail link would ease congestion at the Central Railway Station by routing commuter trains to a drop-shaped track with transfer connection to the metro in Hakaniemi and possible also in Töölö.
HSL is responsible for defining the service level for commuter train services, as well as for procuring the services from VR Ltd. VR both plans and operates the services. The Finnish Transport Agency is responsible for planning, construction and maintenance of the railway lines.