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Vyborg–Joensuu railroad

  (Redirected from Viborg–Joensuu railroad)
The old railway station in Elisenvaara, constructed around 1893, was destroyed in the Winter War.

The old Karelian railroad (Finnish: Karjalan rata) between Viipuri (Viborg) and Joensuu is a railway with 1,524 mm (5 ft) broad gauge, which used to link Joensuu, Sortavala, Hiitola, Antrea (now Kamennogorsk) and Viipuri (Vyborg). Originally built in 1892-1894 by Finnish State Railways in the Grand Duchy of Finland, in the 1940s most of the railway up to Niirala was ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union in the Moscow Peace Treaty, Moscow Armistice and Paris Peace Treaty as a result of the Winter War and Continuation War. Now the track is located in Leningrad Oblast (Karelian Isthmus), Republic of Karelia and North Karelia. The SortavalaJoensuu link across the border was abolished after the Continuation War, but was since restored and is currently in use for cargo traffic.



The decision to build a 311 km railway from Viipuri (Viborg) to Joensuu was made by the Diet of Finland in 1888. Work on the railroad started in 1890, right after work on the Savonia railroad was finished.

Finnish State Railways in 1918, at the time of the Finnish Civil War

The track from Viipuri, (now Vyborg), via Antrea (now Kamennogorsk) to Vuoksenniska (79 km) was completed in November 1892, Antrea to Sortavala (139 km) in November 1893, and Sortavala to Joensuu (132 km) in October 1894. At the height of construction in September 1892 6000 men worked on the railroad.[1]

A direct link between Hiitola and Finland Station in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was opened in 1917, bypassing the Riihimäki-Saint Petersburg railroad (see Saint Petersburg-Hiitola railroad).

The bombing of the Elisenvaara station of the Karelian railroad on 20 June 1944, during the final stages of the Continuation War, was the most fatal bombing in Finnish history; over a hundred civilians were killed when bombs hit a train of Karelian evacuees [2]

After the Winter War and Continuation War Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga Karelia with Viipuri / Viborg, Hiitola, Elisenvaara and Sortavala (Serdopol) were ceded to the Soviet Union, and most stations of the line got to the Soviet side of the new border. In the Moscow Peace Treaty on March 12, 1940, Finland lost the section Viipuri - Antrea - Hiitola - Jaakkima - Sortavala - Matkaselkä - Värtsilä (240 km) to the Soviet Union. Only the Joensuu - Niirala section (71 km) remained in Finland.

In the early 1950s Finland built a new railroad on the Finnish side of the new border, connecting Imatra with the northern part of the Karelian railroad at Säkäniemi.


  • The Vyborg railway station also serves a number of other railroads.
  • At Antrea a 39 km railway to Vuoksenniska branches off from this line. After 1940 and 1944 the Antrea - Enso section (26 km) was ceded to Soviet Union. As of 2007, projects are being discussed to construct a cargo railway along the northern shore of the Vuoksi River linking Kamennogorsk (Antrea) to the Losevo station of the Saint Petersburg–Hiitola railroad in order to ship Russian crude oil to the sea port of Primorsk (Koivisto) bypassing the St. Petersburg – Vyborg line.
  • At Hiitola, km 93, the Karelian railway merges with the Saint Petersburg-Hiitola railroad.
  • The Elisenvaara station was linked to Savonlinna and ultimately Vaasa in Finland. The track meets the new Karelian railroad in Parikkala, on the Finnish side of the border, but the line is closed for traffici and the tracks have been removed in Finnish side to the border. On the Russian side the line from Elisenvaara to Syväoro 13 km still exists and has Sorjo station 7 km from Elisenvaara serving a local border guard station.
  • The Simpele - Elisenvaara section (22 km) of the Vuoksenniska - Elisenvaara line has been lifted after 1944. This section is used as a local road. It had the following stations and stops: (Simpele 100 km,) Koitsansalo halt 108 km, Lamminsalo station 111 km, Haapavaara halt 114 km, Elisenvaara 122 km
  • There is an 11 km long industrial railroad, completed in 1911, branching off at Lahdenpohja from the Karelian railroad to the shore of Lake Ladoga.
  • In 1921 a railroad linking Matkaselkä (km 215) to Naistenjärvi (Naystenyarvi) 139 km was constructed, which was later in turn linked to Pitkäranta, Kostomuksha and Petrozavodsk.
  • In the Finnish part of the railroad there is a connection Säkäniemi – Imatra - Kouvola through the new Karelian railroad going along the border.


In Russia the railroad is used to ship petroleum to the ports of the Gulf of Finland as well as lumber and iron ore pellets from Karelia.

Passenger trainsEdit

Vyborg – Kamennogorsk (about 1 h 20 min with all stops as of 2007)
Vyborg – Kamennogorsk – Svetogorsk (about 1 h 35 min with all stops as of 2007)
Vyborg – Hiitola (about 3 h with all stops as of 2007)
Sortavala – Hiitola – Kuznecnoye (abouit 2 h 20 min from Sortavala to Hiitola with all stops as of 2007)
St. Petersburg (Ladozhsky Rail Terminal)– Hiitola – Sortavala – Kostomuksha (about 2 h 45 m from Hiitola to Sortavala as of 2007)

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit