What do you do for a living and what is your role in the Digirail project? 

I work as a project director in VR’s Digirail operations. 

How long have you been working on the project? How did you get involved in the Digirail project? 

I joined the project in spring 2021. My predecessor, who played a significant role in the study and preparation phase of the project, was retiring and I was offered the opportunity to join this very interesting and diverse project. I immediately recognised that this was an exceptionally important and interesting project entity. At the same time, I can also say that although not all days are necessarily perfect, not once have I regretted joining this fascinating journey. 

What do you find most interesting about the project? 

In the past, I have experienced the railway system by working in various different tasks and observing the field from many different perspectives. In Digirail, I feel that all these perspectives meet and are in strong interaction with each other. I also like the fact that I get to meet railway professionals from different fields and organisations on a daily basis, and I have had the privilege of knowing some of them for a very long time. It is also nice to see the professional development and growth of these people as they expand their knowledge and capabilities into new areas. In terms of personal growth, the most interesting thing has been the strong increase in international contacts and cooperation, for example, through EUG and CER. Having worked in the railway industry, I have learned to act in accordance with railway regulations, but through my work in the Digirail project, I have been able to observe the processes by which EU-level regulation is drawn up and the arenas on which we need to cope with the future direction of regulation and, thus, the direction of the industry. 

How do you see Digirail changing the world of the railways? 

With the project, we are taking a huge leap from operating still partly with 20th-century technology to running our operations truly in the 21st century. The technological and other solutions derived from the Digirail project will define the Finnish railway system of the 21st century. Looking back at the time of the Digirata project later, this will be seen as an era of its own, which is clearly different from the past eras. Whether it will be regarded as great progress and a successful transformation of the Finnish railway system depends largely on all of us who are currently working on the project. The most important thing is that, even in the midst of all the rush and project pressure, we remember that the qualitative goals of the project should not be compromised for the sake of momentary benefits. Each solution must be better in quality than the previous solution, because we will be living with the effects of this project for a very long time. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I go to the gym quite actively and I am also active in the Reservists’ Association. In addition, the family home with its yard work usually ensure that there is no excessive leisure time. I especially enjoy watching the growth of our perennial plants. It’s great to see that many of the plants are thriving despite my care.