Lappi Timber has become the launch customer for open access operator Fenniarail (Photo: Vladimir Fisar).

FINLAND: The Lappi Timber subsidiary of Kempele Forest has become the launch customer for Fenniarail, Finland’s first open access rail freight operator.

Fenniarail has been awarded a contract to haul sawn wood products from Kemijärvi in the far north of the country to the Gulf of Bothnia port of Oulu and to Kotka, around 1000 km away on the southeast coast at the other end of the rail network.

The first delivery is scheduled to take place by July, Fenniarail CEO Kimmo Rahkamo told Railway Gazette. The launch requires the construction of a 700 m siding in Kemijärvi, but work is currently being held up by 2 m of snow and ice. The value and length of the contract is confidential, although Rahkamo described it as 'long-term and significantly longer than one year'.

Founded in 2009, Fenniarail is owned by 34 Finnish companies and individuals. It received its operations permit in March 2015, and CZ Loko has delivered three 774.7F locomotives.