Close to the town of Sastamala is a service area of Motorway 12 that stands out a bit more than usual. This is Kiskokabinetti, a rest area for car-bound travelers that includes an old locomotive and a few railway carriages. And no, there has not been a railway station here. Instead, these are historical railway carriages, including a Marski Saloon Car with an impressive legend connected with it. According to the legend, it is the wagon where Mannerheim and Hitler met in Imatra in 1942.
A Short History of Kiskokabinetti
A small service station opened here in 1966, including a small Shell gas station. The owner was a big railway enthusiast and the first railway carriage was acquired already in 1967 from the depot in Pasila. It was also in 1967 that the service station received its current name after a naming competition. A second railway carriage was acquired in 1969, this time the historical wagon that had been used by Mannerheim. A steam locomotive joined the two wagons in 1993.
Things to Do and See
Two old railway carriages and a steam locomotive are something that really can attract any railway enthusiast. For many others, this is a rest area while traveling through Finland. There is a small playground for the kids and the service station includes a smaller restaurant. The railway memorabilia might be far from the nearest railway but is an impressive addition to something that many consider to be a small gas station.
The Marski Salon Wagon
The Marski Salon Wagon was acquired by the service station in 1969 and came with a lot of history and an impressive legend. The wagon was transported on the road from Jalasjärvi. Its original use was as a café but it has since been turned into a small museum open to the public. The legend tells of a time when this wagon might have been the space for a meeting between Mannerheim and Hitler in 1942. There is, however, competition for the event by a wagon in Mikkeli. It is either way an impressive railway carriage.
How to Get to Kiskokabinetti
- Flights: The closest major airport is Tampere–Pirkkala Airport (TMP), which is to the northwest.
- Car: Kiskokabinetti lies along Road 12 to the southwest of Tampere, close to the town of Sastamala.
The driving distance from 5 major Finnish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Helsinki – 218 kilometers (2 h 20 min)
- Turku – 124 kilometers (1 h 40 min)
- Vaasa – 246 kilometers (3 h 10 min)
- Oulu – 533 kilometers (6 h)
- Joensuu – 441 kilometers (5 h 10 min)