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While the more populous countries of Europe have striven to decrease rail journey times between major population centres by building new infrastructure, other countries, without the population to support such investment, have opted for running high speed tilting trains over existing, upgraded lines. Finland, Norway and Sweden have all gone down the 'tilting route'. The 5220 is a member of the FIAT Pendolino family. The export success of this family of trains includes Portugal, Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Slovenia and soon the UK with the Virgin 'Brumillino'! The 5220, suitably modified to cope with Arctic winters and with final assembly in Finland, is certainly the most luxurious and best finished of the FIAT family to date. We travel with the drivers on the 0930 5220 service from the Capital, Helsinki, on Wednesday 2nd June 1999. The weather in Helsinki is a little overcast but by the time we reach Espoo, ten miles out, we are in bright Nordic sunshine which we enjoy for the rest of our journey to Turku. On the run to the half way point at Karja / Karis we pass freight and commuter trains, also high speed passenger trains pulled by the Finnish derivative of the Swiss LOK 2000 or RE 460 locomotive. Beyond Karis the pace 'hots up' and we sail through beautiful country-side, and take sweeping reverse curves at 200 kph. In places the view from the cab is positively breathtaking!
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