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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 1, 1928)

The Land of a Thousand Lakes

The Land of a Thousand Lakes.

Next to Italy, the European country which is drawing probably the biggest amount of new business in tourist travel is picturesque Finland, “land of a thousand lakes,” and the near neighbour of stricken Russia. The railways of Finland are Government owned, and are about 4,000 miles in extent. The first railway opened in Finland connected Helsingfors with Hameenlina, and dates back to 1862. The management of the Finnish Government Railways forms a central board of government under the Ministry of Communications and Public Works. It consists of a president, a vice-president, and nine chiefs of departments. Passenger traffic forms 40 per cent. of the business handled, and all the through expresses include in their make-up the luxurious cars of the International Sleeping Car Company. Coal is a scarce commodity in Finland, and the traveller through this beautiful corner of Europe finds cause for constant wonder in the quaint-looking wood-burning locomotives, with their huge chimneys, which are largely employed for train haulage. Helsingfors and Viborg are the principal stations on the Finnish railway system, and an interesting feature of post-war development is the co-ordination of rail, road and water transport which has been accomplished everywhere throughout the country.