Transport links and vehicles

Taking a horse-drawn load from the mill to Vilppula station and back took three days. The distance was 42 km each way. The load normally contained 700 - 800 kg of paper or pulp. At the start of the 1900s, the factory transport stock included 50 horses. Paper and pulp transport was also partially carried out by hired horses. An unusual experiment was a World War I tank 'Podeus', which hauled sleighs to Vilppula station.

The United Paper Mills goods vehicle, a 28 hp Ford with foot pedal operated transmission, in 1928.When a standard gauge railway to Mänttä was completed in 1929, transport was diverted there, and the journey from Jämsänkoski was cut to 36 kilometres. The factory purchased a couple of lorries and equipped them with snow ploughs. Now the majority of horsemen could be dismissed and the transport costs were cut by a third. In the 1930s, transporting a tonne of paper to Mänttä cost 70 - 90 markka and shipping to Lahti 50 - 60 markka.

Jämsänkoski mill fleet

Open water season was utilised as much as possible, as despite the introduction of lorries, water transport continued to be important right up to completion of the company's own railway. If possible, all heavy raw materials, such as limestone, sulphur and kaolin were transported by boat. The company had two warehouses in Vesijärvi harbour. The timber was brought to the factory on barges and by floating.

Alaja harbour area, Möljä, at the turn of the 1950s.The first tugboat, Jämsänkoski I, was purchased by the pulp mill in 1897. The vessel hauled barges and when required, operated as ice-breaker for other vessels. At the turn of the century, a second vessel, Rekola, was obtained. Severus Konkola's boats also carried freight for the factory.

The journey by boat to Lahti usually took 24 hours. The sailing season began halfway through May and ended around the turn of the year. The barges were made of wood or iron. The wooden barges were made at the company’s own docks, most of the iron barges were ordered from Ruona Oy. Their number peaked at around thirty. A tug usually hauled four barges, each carrying 100 - 200 tonnes of paper or about 300 tonnes of pulp. The vessel stock was at its largest at the end of the 1930s, when five tugs were in use.

Jämsänkoski mill had its own large harbour area at the riverside with several loading wharves. In addition to paper and pulp warehouses, there were dedicated offloading bays for logs, coal and limestone, as well as pulpwood and general goods in the area. In open water season, more than a hundred men worked in the area, including ship and  barge hands.


On completion of the railway, most of the freight was carried by rail. Photo from 1962.Efforts to get a railway for Jämsänkoski had been under way for several decades. The spokesman of the railway committee, set up in 1932, was General Walden himself. Construction of the Orivesi - Jämsä railway line began in 1938. Due to the war the work was delayed, and the first train only arrived in Jämsä in July 1950 and to Jämsänkoski mills in August 1951. Completion of the railway ended the boat transport via Päijänne to Lahti. United Paper Mills Ltd paid about half the cost of building the Jämsä - Jämsänkoski track. The line from Jämsä to Olkkola sawmill was completed in August 1952 and the link from it to Kaipola in November the same year.
Transportation services and transport equipment
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