• Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line

SAVON-RATA history

Savon-Radan logo


Railways have been an important innovative regional character and the construction of the railroad through isolated rural regions has connected the hinterland of Finland with the economic center in the South. The railway has had an important influence on rural villages as they were isolated and have had even their own time. The railway created a uniform time in whole Finland. In 1885 274 kilometers of the Savo line (Finnish Savon rata) was commissioned, connecting Kouvola (on the St. Petersburg line) through different stations to Kuopio , the line was open by 1889.

With the launch in 1889 of 13 stations along this Savo railway an isolated rural area gained the ability to be connected with the more prosperous southern Finland and was therefore able to develop economically in a better way. The stations meant not only a better transportation, but were also a major social center in the mostly small villages.
The stations were built in the traditional way with logs, and a large number along this line have the same characteristic architecture by Knut Nylander, called Oulu radan rautatieasema

After an explosive expansion from 13 to 32 stations until mid- 1950 the VR changed their policy in the second half of the 20th century. In the 60-ties VR has changed the schedule of e.g. the Lättähattu (bus train) in a way that it did not longer fit on the use for people going to work and school. People started to use other ways of transport and the train company registered a decrease of passengers. This made it easy to reduce the number of stops and to close series of stations along the line. Many stops were taken out of the schedule and stations were closed and decay of the monumental buildings began. In the past these stations were the connection with unknown regions and stimulated the economic expansion in the villages, they connected people from rural regions to a different cultural habitat in the South. These days villages have lost this source and most of the economic activity has moved to bigger centers. During the years the vital social power of small village communities is lost through the disappearance of public transport, shops, banks, post offices, schools and health care centers, now these services are all concentrated in cities.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a new interest in these empty and unused buildings started and since then many of them are in the hands of individuals, groups and different types of organizations .This has initiated a development which prepares these valuable buildings into new functions. Through their central location it is inviting to set up activities for the local community and to start a revival of the local spirit. The users of the stations of the SAVON RADAN ryhmä have all a different content, but they have in common an independent attitude and a strong believe in new and alternative concepts to develop activities in different fields.

train schedule in the 60ties

Savon-rata train schedule 1960

The group is planning to add the old Museum train Dm7 "lättähattu" to the program on the main celebration day in October 2014.
On the next YouTube video another part of a tour of the Museum train along the railway stations of the Savo-line.
And a stop at Hiirola railway station.
The last part of the tour at Haukivuori railway station.

map of the Finnish railway in 1905

Information in Finnish about the Savo railway can be found on the website of Miikeli.


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