Opening rail freight transportation for competition in Finland has led to a situation where in the port area, there may operate more than one service provider. HaminaKotka port has several private railroads; altogether, there are around 80 kilometres of tracks. Traffic management of railroads under Finrail surveillance ends to the edge of the port and the trains in the port area does not have their own similar traffic management. Because the port does not have traffic management, flow of traffic is not smooth in multi-actor environment. Multi-actor environment refers to the bunch of all different business sector companies that does not have any connection to each other – besides the fact, that they need railroads to operate their business. Operator means a company that uses the railroads.

Operators’ task is to deliver full-length trains – or smaller combinations – to the ports’ companies and later pick up the empty trains away. Alternatively the opposite, bring empty wagons and take away fully loaded trains.

HaminaKotka port has more than 80 kilometres of railroad and multiple manual used railroad switches. There are 30 companies operating the tracks. In the port area, the traffic management is fully under the operators’ responsibility. Current situation is that the communication is based only to one operator’s internal communication (VHF radio or phone). Thereby the port is lacking shared rules and monitoring – the traffic management for safe and effective rail freight transportation.

The goal of the competition

Goal of the competition is to create an idea for the communication/operation in the port area, so that the moving (by trains and other means) is safe and efficient. In this competition, the focus is developing train operations’ safety. Train drivers and other workers tool load cannot be raised. This means exploiting the current tools: phone, tablet and VHF-radio. These are the technical limitations for the competition.

There are numerous amount of companies in the HaminaKotka port, that move massive amounts of cargo daily. From these, 30 companies transports cargo on rails. There is more than 80 kilometres of railroad, hundreds of vehicles, great number of intersections and thousands of workers – but no traffic management. How could we improve track operations safer? How could we manage port traffic safely?

In this competition, we are looking for the best idea, which can be product, service, process or any other form thing that improves the ports safety/effectiveness. The idea does not need to be ready-for-use product, service or process etc. It can exploit existing or be something totally new.

In your answer, aim to describe your idea comprehensively. Open the thinking process behind the idea, describe how it works and estimate the costs, what are the benefits and so on. In the description, try to be more comprehensive and specific than short worded.

You can participate alone or in a group. In your written answer, prefer Xamk’s thesis document formation. Return your idea in PDF document latest on Monday 30th of September, 12.00 o’clock.


The best ideas will be rewarded. The best idea receives 500 euros, others can be granted with Xamk hoodies etc. The winner is chosen by the staff of “Improving the efficiency of rail transportation in seaport area” –project and their chosen experts together. The greatest ideas have a chance to be written into a Xamk’s RDI project.

The competition is held by “Improving the efficiency of rail transportation in seaport area” –project. Regional Council of Kymenlaakso funds project and it is executed 01.09.2018 – 31.12.2019. For more info about the competition please contact Petri Kähärä 044 702 896 or

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