Locomotive drivers and the Railway Union RAU, which represents traffic controllers, is surprised by VR’s report that the trade union’s political strike has slowed down the investigation of track damage noticed on Monday.
RAU’s locomotive drivers were off work on Monday to oppose the labor market changes proposed by the government. The traffic controllers’ strike, on the other hand, started at 7 pm on Monday and will last until 7 pm on Tuesday.
VR announced on Monday that it has to cancel long-distance train services on Tuesday for safety reasons. According to the company, Monday’s strike day has “significantly” slowed down the investigation of the situation and the location of the fault.
Chairman of RAU Markku Lehtinen says that the VR explanation sounds “very strange”.
“How has the damage to the track during the strike been such that it is not possible to find out, because the traffic control has been at work on Monday. Track damage cannot be solved with normal train stock anyway,” says Lehtinen.
Track damage is usually noticed by the train driver reporting the damage. A damage report can also come through something else.
After noticing the damage, train speeds will be reduced at the damaged location, and after that, the authorities’ track inspection with equipment will come to the scene. They are not driven by RAU members, says Lehtinen.
A representative of the Finnish Railways Agency told HS on Monday that Monday’s rail strike has not affected track maintenance.
The track damage noticed on Monday seems to be extensive, as long-distance traffic has been canceled throughout the country.
“Even under normal circumstances, damage to the whole of Finland cannot be inspected in a day. The highway inspection is quite a slow process,” says Lehtinen.