The 335-kilometre long railway section between Seinäjoki and Oulu is one of Finland's busiest single-track lines. The majority of the railway traffic between Southern and Northern Finland uses this railway, which is part of the Trans-European Rail Network (TEN). The project was preceded by the improvement of the railway section between Helsinki and Seinäjoki.
The project is both cost-effective and significant from a socio-economic perspective. The improvement of the existing single-track line will assure continuous railway operations on this section. The new double-track railway sections will increase the railway capacity, which enables greater traffic volumes.
The improved railway connection creates new opportunities for land use and business activities in the area between Seinäjoki and Oulu. Shorter travel times bring the regional and national centres closer to each other. This is advantageous for all of Ostrobothnia, especially the regions with a station.
This project aims to assure continuous railway operations on the existing railway line by improving the railway structure. This makes it possible to increase the maximum speed on the whole section and thereby cut the journey times in passenger traffic. The project also enables passenger trains to increase their speed to 160–200 km/h, depending on train type. The increase in axle load strengthens the competitiveness of freight traffic, and the running of heavier trains is secured by means of sufficient electric power supply. Safety will also be enhanced by the elimination of level crossings from the whole railway section.
Twenty-nine traffic operating points will be improved. Three new traffic operating points will be built in Riijärvi, Tikkaperä and Ahonpää. New passenger platform is built at Kempele traffic operating point. Level crossings will be eliminated and substructures and superstructures improved on the whole section from Seinäjoki to Oulu. A double-track line will be built from Southern Seinäjoki to Lapua. The double-track line between Southern Seinäjoki and Seinäjoki was completed in 2009. Sixteen steel bridges will be repaired or renewed between Seinäjoki and Oulu. Changes will be made to the safety devices and catenary system on the whole section.