Along the ground

Along the ground

Waterways provided a natural and economical transportation route in the region. The road and railway network were rather underdeveloped, even in the beginning of the 20th century. The beginning of the 20th century saw the railroad, car and bus infrastructure start to develop, which led to a reduction in boat traffic.

Horses were used for transportation in Southern Savo, even in the beginning of the 20th century. People started to prefer the car to other forms of transportation only after World War II. The bicycle has also been a practical means of transport for many people.

Horse-drawn vehicles at Iso-Pappila in Mäntyharju

The loft of the barn at the Iso-Pappila Open-Air Museum in Mäntyharju has many types of horsedrawn vehicles and machinery used to service the roads.

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The first actual competitor that boat traffic faced in Southern Savo was the railroad, which started running trains on the Savo line in 1889. It connected Mikkeli and Pieksämäki with Helsinki via Kouvola in the south and Kuopio in the north. Savonlinna was connected to the line in 1908 through Parikkala. Great expectations were placed on this new form of transport. And the railroad did make it a lot faster to move from place to place, even though the trip from Kouvola to Kuopio lasted 11 hours using the steam locomotives that they had back then. Nowadays, the same trip only takes a maximum of 2 hours 25 minutes.

Tk3 steam locomotive ”Little Jumbo” at the Savo Railway Museum in Pieksämäki

Near the exhibition hall at the Savo Railway Museum, visitors can spot a Tk3 steam locomotive, number 852, enjoying its well-earned retirement. It was built in 1929 in Tampere. The last time Little Jumbo rode the tracks was in 1967, which was around the time steam locomotives starting gradually making way for diesel and electric trains on Finland’s rails.

The life cycle of the Tk3 series was rather long and spanned the war years 1939–45. It was used to transport freight and as a switcher, but occasionally to transport passengers and to shunt, as well. The unit in Pieksämäki, number 852, also spent 1958 building track in Kovero.

Steam locomotive 852 was signed over to the city of Pieksämäki in 1968. It was restored by volunteers in 1976 and relocated to the Pieksämäki station yard on its very own short track in 1977.

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Last modified: 9 Mar 2022

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