Rail transport is set to grow in the future. This is not only about smooth everyday transport and the competitiveness of industry but also about improving traffic safety and reducing emissions. The more Finnish people and industry use the train compared to other modes of transport, the more society will benefit.
The growth of rail traffic is necessary to fight against climate change. Curbing climate change requires reducing emissions from traffic and increasing energy efficiency. The electric train is an environmentally friendly option because it produces less emissions and consumes less energy than other modes of transport. For over 10 years, we have used electricity produced with renewable energy, i.e. hydropower. We have also further improved the energy efficiency of rail transport in many ways.
In addition to the need to curb climate change, other megatrends also affect our operations. Due to urbanisation, passengers now travel between large cities and expect direct and fast connections. Digitalisation creates new needs and expectations for services as well as opportunities for developing customer service and improving operational efficiency.
Changes in the regulation of the market environment and the transport sector reflect on the sector and our company on multiple levels. The general economic situation, the current state of international politics and the development of prices on the world market affect the demand for products on the market and, through that, matters such as rail logistics volumes. EU legislation also has a significant effect on our operating environment.
Rail traffic can be increased through investment in the railway network
We already operate on the open market in many of our business areas. The competition in rail freight transport is intensifying while competition in passenger transport is being opened. Opening transport services for competition is not enough by itself if the goal is to increase climate-friendly rail traffic. Investments should be made in infrastructure so that rail traffic can grow and, through that growth, benefit passengers and society.
The railway network is under strain from a repair deficit and lack of capacity, which negatively affects rail transport by reducing punctuality and delivery reliability. The most significant share of train traffic delays is caused by disruptions in the rail infrastructure.
Long-term investment in basic transport infrastructure management and promoting future investment in the railway network enable the growth of rail traffic. Society benefits from climate-friendly and safe rail transport that acts as the backbone of the nationwide transport system.