The exceptional late spring snow meant many services were disrupted in Helsinki.
The exceptional late spring snow meant many services were disrupted in Helsinki.
Helsinki's tram network shut down completely on Tuesday, after freezing rain and snowfall iced up overhead power lines and jammed the points at various points around the network.

The freak April weather left several trams stuck along the number 15 line, and with winter maintenance machines already in storage for the summer, operators made the decision to cancel all tram services for the whole day.

Services are expected to re-start on Wednesday morning on a reduced timetable.

Many HSL bus services were also delayed or cancelled, with driving conditions described as 'very bad' by the Meteorological Institute.

Metro services and commuter trains were running normally, although K and I trains were on a reduced timetable.

"This is a very unusual situation, but this weather is also unusual," said Helsinki Region Transport (Finnish acronym HSL) press officer Johannes Laitila, who urged travellers to allow more time for their journeys.

Maintenance trams in storage

Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd, which runs trams across the capital region, said it was working to get services up and running again.

Maintenance workers were clearing snow from the tracks and clearing ice from points, the firm was struggling to de-ice overhead power lines.

Normally glycol is used for that purpose, but the company said equipment used to apply it had already been taken into storage for the summer.

"Unfortunately the severity of the weather surprised us," said Antti Vigelius, who heads up Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd' maintenance unit, in a press statement.

"Problems with tram services could continue for as long as the freezing rain continues."

The unusually late snowfall hit towns nationwide, with Turku also cancelling a large proportion of its bus services on Tuesday morning.

Local police in south-west Finland reported around a dozen road traffic accidents, with no serious injuries reported.