RHK's research and development work mainly involves practical research and development of guidelines and methods related to infrastructure management. The focuses of R&D in the near future revolve around competitiveness of rail services, the condition and development of the rail network, the opening of the rail network to new operators, improving safety and developing a strong transport authority. These focuses include both national and international research.
Research and development work is based on RHK's mission and tasks as well as its vision of the future. R&D is guided by objectives presented in the vision concerning the development of transport and travel chains, maintaining rail traffic's market share, expanding the 25-tonne axle load network and the high-speed network, and raising safety to a top European level.
The focuses of R&D in the coming years has been derived from strategic lines for infrastructure management, which have been presented in the Rail Network 2020 plan and in different policy papers.
The research and development activities of the Finnish rail Administration are mainly conducted by three different projects. In the most significant fields of research, the Finnish Rail Administration has its own research projects, in which the administration acts as the main client and financier. In co-operation projects, the Finnish Rail Administration acts as one party for example in the advisory group, but is not the main client or financier of the project. Other research activities are followed through e.g. professional journals, the Internet and seminars.
The expenses of research and development activities are estimated to be about EUR 2.0-2.5 million in the year 2002.