Long live the train!
In January 2014, VR launched the 'Long live the train' campaign, in which a group of passengers, selected on the basis of applications, kept a blog on their train journeys.
The 50 passengers chosen for the assignment were able to travel free of charge and their blogs were published on a special campaign website. The aim of the campaign was to encourage ordinary citizens to engage in an open discussion about rail travel and to get customers involved in the planning of VR's services.
The 50 passengers wrote altogether more than 400 blog posts about the onboard service. About half of the 1,000 items of feedback were positive, 380 were negative, and 160 contained suggestions for improvements. Positive feedback was given especially about VR's personnel: According to the bloggers, the train conductors and the staff on restaurant cars are cheerful and professional. The new DuettoPlus restaurant cars were also praised.
Suggestions for improvements concerned travel comfort, provision of information, and ways to make buying tickets easier. VR is continuing the modernisation of its rolling stock, and will make the services on trains more user-friendly on the basis of the feedback. The large volume of feedback has also prompted VR to improve the travel of passengers with pets on InterCity trains. Some of the suggestions involved special offers and campaign products for different target groups and most of them concerned Interrail, hiking and discount travel. VR will continue to diversify its ticket options and, in response to the feedback, it will provide more detailed customer-specific information on mobile services and more information on existing service offerings. In addition to developing its mobile services, VR will also continue to update the electronic provision of information and the provision of information at stations and on trains.
The 'Long live the train' campaign was concluded with an event at Helsinki Central Railway Station on 26 May 2014. VR will use the results of the campaign to develop its services.