The modern speed train takes you from down-town St. Petersburg to the central station in Helsinki in 3 ½ hours. All customs and passport checks are conducted onboard. Travelers can even get their tax-free refunds onboard. With a ticket price of €86, the joint Finnish, Russian Allegro express train has become a great success.
Allegro express train at Helsinki central station. Photo: Thomas Nilsen
During the first year of operation, the Allegro express train has had around 280.000 passengers, far more than expected, reports Finnish railways VR-Group.
– The growth in the number of passengers on the Allegro is expected to continue. The aim is 500 000 trips per year by 2015 says VR’s Director, Long-distance Services Ari Vanhanen in a press-release.
Trips made by Finns to Russia are still mainly business trips whereas Russians come to Finland for the most part on leisure trips.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
People participating in culture-, sport and Barents cooperation projects can from October apply for visa to Norway without paying a single ruble, says Marit Egholm Jacobsen with the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk.