Lisa and I intended to go to the Finland Railway Museum originally on Tuesday so that we could sleep in today; however, the VR (Finnish Railways) drivers union had other ideas. They called a strike to start at 18:00 Monday through 18:00 Tuesday. Therefore, if we were to go up to Hyvinkää where the museum was located, we needed to do it Monday (and get back before 18:00) or Wednesday, the day before we leave Helsinki. We decided to do it Monday. However, that meant we were running on maybe four hours of sleep when we made our way over to Pasila this morning.
After a false start at Hyvinkää (we turned the wrong way out of the station), we made our way to our goal today. Things were very quiet at the museum today, but apparently the day before had been a big event at the place, based on the various signs and banners we saw.
There were many pieces of historic railway equipment on display, including this American-built locomotive purchased for Finnish Railways in the early 20th century.
And oddities like this automobile modified with flanged wheels for use on the railway.
The star attraction of the collection is probably this: the only extant Russian Royal Train, with coaches used by the Tsars. All of the coaches that were in Russia were destroyed after the Russian Revolution, leaving only these coaches that were in the Russian-controlled Grand Duchy of Finland. (Finland's railways run on the Russian 5-foot gauge as a result of Russian control of the country before it gained it independence 100 years ago this year.)
In the roundhouse there is this recreation of the workshop where every possible replacement part could be hand-made if necessary.
Outside, this locomotive rode the turntable.
Museum staff were using this locomotive to switch coaches. I assume this had to do with yesterday's festival.
Lisa and I walked through the lovely museum grounds, which includes the "barracks" (bunkhouse for railway workers, now used for exhibits about railway history), the cafe (closed today), and the old Hyvinkää station on the Hyvinkää-Hanko line.
After several hours in the museum, we walked back toward downtown. On our way, we passed this McDonald's located in what looks like a former gas station. We did not eat lunch here.
We continued on to the downtown shopping center and found what to us seemed like a bargain, in an all-you-can-eat sushi/Chinese buffet for €10.50. We ate our fill. I wish this place had been near Messukeskus!
We needed to be back on a train before the strike took effect. Although it appears that any train that started before 18:00 would continue to its destination, we didn't want to take any chances.
We settled down on the station platform for our train.
Lisa and I were wearing today our All the Stations t-shirts that Cheryl bought for me. (When I asked how much I owed her for the shirts, Cheryl said, "Happy Birthday.") Here's a photo we took in front of the Hyvinkää station sign. Kuma Bear photo bombed us, but that's okay.
We boarded our Helsinki-bound train and found a pair of facing seats. Fortunately, we were going counter-commute, and people had apparently also been making alternative plans because of the strike. Initially, we thought we might ride all the way into Helsinki and then after getting dinner ride back to the hotel on a tram (the trams/buses are unaffected by the strike), but both Lisa and I kept falling asleep on the train, and Lisa said we should just go back to the hotel and go to bed.
As we walked back to the hotel, I snapped this photo of the Elevator of Doom in which Lisa and were trapped yesterday. Although the elevator has been reset, neither she nor I are likely to ever use it again.
Lisa fell into bed, and I admit I almost did so as well, but there were some groceries I wanted, so I took my tote bag and went back down to the lobby. Although most of the fans have moved out, the place is filling up again with tourist groups and tennis players (an ITF tournament is in town this week). I ran across some of us late stayers (including Dave Lally) in the lobby, and ended up sitting down and shooting the breeze for a lot longer than I intended before I walked down to Lidl for more supplies. By the same I got back from the store, I had some second wind and thus decided I'd better get these photos online, including the Finland Railway Museum album.
Tomorrow we're in Helsinki. We're considering our plans, which probably include going to Suomenlinna, which is accessible on local transit because the ferry is included in transit passes. However, I'm going to see about not setting an alarm tomorrow morning. We need a recovery day.