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Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The Lietmajärvi–Kotskoma railway has been constructed in several phases since the era of the Soviet Union. The new track will shorten the railroad distance to northwest Russia by over five hundred (500) kilometres and will speed up transport. Along with the new transport route, freight traffic will be able to be transported cost-efficiently to Central Europe and other commercial ports of the world using the Northlink ports located in the Bay of Bothnia, and, naturally, vice versa. The goal of the project was to create a co-operative team from the ports of the Bay of Bothnia and VR Cargo in order to promote the transition gateway through the ports of the Bay of Bothnia to the Russian Arkhangelsk and Komi and the associated opportunities it would present as a new transport route between the East and the West. The goal of the project was to create permanent co-operation relationships and operational practices between the Finnish and Russian entities for the development of transport and storage of goods via sea, road and railway. A further goal was, together with other entities, to ensure that border crossings, customs operations and other formal border activities would be easier and would take less time. The route was to be made well-known among international forwarding and freight companies.

Main activities

• to develop co-operation and information exchange with Russian transport companies and other businesses that provide logistic services, to develop data system co-operation with the tracking of transports and goods, and to make transport flows more efficient both technically and financially between Northwest Russia and Central Europe.


A shared logistics committee was created by Northlink and the State Provincial Office of Oulu in order to monitor and co-ordinate the development of the transport route. The committee had a large group of participants both from Russia and Finland, and its work promoted the creation of co-operation relationships between Finnish and Russian companies and government representatives and officials. The visits to Finnish and Russian companies have made the new Karelia gateway and the services offered by the ports of the Bay of Bothnia and VR Cargo well known. The project received publicity in the Finnish media. A few articles were also published in foreign logistics magazines. The marketing efforts, visits, seminars and presentations by Northlink have effectively created general awareness of the project and the opportunities it presents. The project can be seen as a success in terms of developing co-operation between entities and increasing awareness regarding the transport gateway. In addition, a freight transport study was conducted regarding Northwest Russia as well as a study regarding potential customer companies in the Vologda province, the Republic of Komi and Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions. Throughout its history, however, the project was tied to the use of the Lietmajärvi–Kotskoma connection and its construction, which began in 1992. The track was completed during 2002; however, commercial transport on the track has not yet begun. As a result, future concrete collective marketing efforts have been postponed and the objectives of the project have not been competed in full. Additional information: www.northlink.fi

Basic information




2002-01-01 - 2004-12-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

312 843 € / 205 917 €

Lead partner

Port of Oulu
Lead partner web-site


Oktyabrskaya Railroad, Petrozavodsk district