CANCELLED: Is the Arctic Railway Still On?


This event is unfortunately cancelled.

This round table event brings together policy-makers, historians, sustainability scientists, activists for indigenous rights, and China experts to debate whether there is still hope, need, and potential for the Arctic Railway? The project brings up many questions concerning growth, development and sustainability, all worthy of a thorough debate and discussion.

Registration through this link.


Julie Yu-Wen Chen (Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Helsinki)
Pauliina Feodoroff (director, Chair of the Saami Council 2007-2008)
Sabina Lindström (Ministry of Communication, Finland)
Dieter Müller (Professor of Human Geography, Umeå University)
Peter Stadius (Professor of Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki)


14.00: Welcome

14.15: Peter Stadius: The Long History of Finland and the Arctic Railroad
14.30: Julie Chen: The China Factor in the Making of the Arctic Railway

Panel (moderator: Peter Stadius)

Pauliina Feodoroff
Dieter Müller
Sabina Lindström

15.45: Questions from the audience

16.15-17: Reception




In early 2019, a Finnish-Norwegian report nearly nipped the plan to build an Arctic Railway in the bud by suggesting that the project is not economically feasible. Some entrepreneurs, however, have not given up and instead wish to propose alternative plan to realize the Arctic Railway. As the century old idea of a direct railway contact from Finland to the Arctic Ocean was taken on the political agenda anew, questions of both regional and global scope became apparent.


China, the self-proclaimed “near Arctic state”, also signals its interest in the construction project, believing that the railway will be a natural extension of its Belt and Road initiative. At the same time the project triggered a debate about the relationship between the Finnish state and the Sámi community. Topics pertinent to these areas are:


  • geopolitics
  • sustainability
  • indigenous rights
  • climate change
  • financial viability

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