Today, Helsinki is the only city in Finland to still have tram traffic. Two other Finnish cities—Turku and Vyborg (now part of Russia) — have had tram systems. Vyborg abandoned its trams in 1957, after the city had been ceded to the Soviet Union following the result of World War II. Turku withdrew its trams in 1972.
The first proposals for the construction of a tram system into Helsinki were made in 1870s, but they were at the time unsuccessful. Public transport in Helsinki was initiated in 1888 by using horse-drawn omnibuses. In 1889 Helsingin Omnibussiosakeyhtiö acquired the right to construct tram lines in Helsinki. The following year the company changed its name in Helsingin raitiotie- ja omnibussiosakeyhtiö (abbreviated HRO). Electric traction was considered as a power source for the new system, but due to lack of funds and the city council's negative attitude towards electric trams, the decision was made to use horse-drawn trams instead. The new system was built to a rail gauge of one metre. Test traffic started in December 1890, but the network wasn't officially opened for traffic until June 1891. The capacity of the horse tram system soon proved insufficient, but the changeover into electrified trams was postproned while waiting for the price of electrification of the network to drop.
This lovely stamp was issued on May 23, 1988. My dear friend Merja sent me this pretty maxicard.