The European Investment Bank (EIB) has advanced a loan equivalent to FIM 1 billion (ECU 170 million) for the financing of railway schemes in Finland within an approved loan frame of FIM 1.5 billion. The loan to the Republic of Finland has a maturity of 20 years.

The loan is aimed to finance the upgrading of the close to 400 km north-south railway line linking the cities of Helsinki, Tampere and Seinäjoki to allow faster trains to operate on this busy stretch, which is included in the chain of Trans-European transport networks. The project is a major part of the Finnish rail transport development programme to increase transport efficiency and thus boost the competitive position of export industries.

In addition, the project improves access to and from Seinäjoki, which is located in an Objective 5b regional development area (eligible for EU structural assistance) and therefore contributes to the economic development in the region.

Up to date, the EIB has financed the upgrading of railway lines in Finland with loans totalling FIM 1.5 billion (ECU 250 million), notably the southern rail link between Turku and Helsinki, which is part of the so called Nordic Triangle connecting the capitals of the Nordic countries.

EIB lending in Finland so far amounts to some FIM 5 billion (ECU 865 million), mainly for communications infrastructure improvements and industrial projects including small and medium sized enterprises.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU's financing institution, contributes by means of its long-term loans towards the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of its Member Countries as well as countries outside the Union.