Länsimetro’s Matinkylä–Kivenlahti project is completed

Länsimetro’s MatinkyläKivenlahti project was completed in line with the set targets. The project’s efficient practices and close co-operation, as well as the project organisation’s solid expertise and experience made it possible to adhere to the schedule. Commuter traffic along the section will begin on 3 December 2022.

The project was completed in line with the targets set in the project plan and its adjustment. Implementation of the project was mainly the responsibility of the integrated client organisation consisting of experts from Länsimetro and the construction consultant Sweco PM. Close co-operation and efficient practices enabled the completion of Finland’s largest infrastructure, HVAC and electricity and automation project on schedule.

“We used the experiences and lessons learned from the first construction phase of the West Metro project in the second construction phase. Based on them, we made changes to e.g. management and the project’s organisation model. We monitored the schedule, costs, risks, quality issues, co-operation and occupational safety based on the situation management model,” sums up Länsimetro’s CEO Ville Saksi. ”Our shared targets were also refined and collaboration was tightened regardless of organisational boundaries (Experts from Länsimetro and the construction consultant Sweco worked in shared facilities based on the big room model. Risks were identified and prevented through effective risk management measures.”

Luck was also involved in the construction of the West Metro extension as the key phases of the construction project, such as procurement, took place before the Covid-19 pandemic and the accelerating inflation caused by the war in Ukraine.

“All of the project’s major procurements were made before the dramatic rise in costs. If we had to start building the West Metro now, the price tag for the project would be significantly larger. The pandemic did not have any major impact on the project either, because construction had proceeded far enough when it hit. The project organisation’s operations were well-established and we were a tight-knit team when the pandemic struck,” says Ville Saksi.

Jaakko Naamanka, Project Director at Sweco PM, is happy with the end result of the project. “The project was completed to the day planned in the schedule set i. That is an incredible achievement in a megaproject like this. For that, we have to thank Länsimetro’s joint project organisation that was responsible for the implementation of the project as a whole and all the parties that contributed to the project,” says Project Director Naamanka.

This was the first time that the situation management model was used in managing a public construction project of this size. “The project’s successful management was based on situation management, in which the project’s decision-making is based on situational information that is as real-time and accurate as possible. Based on situational information, the project management can identify deviations from the set targets as early as possible and apply corrective measures. A prerequisite for successful situation management is high-quality scheduling and target-setting, and accurate situational information,” says Naamanka.

The construction of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section was decided in 2014 and the multi-year construction project began with excavation in late 2014. The construction projects ended in May 2022, after which the test runs continued until September. Länsimetro Oy has handed over the management of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section’s stations, rail line and depot to the traffic operator Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd. After the completion of construction, Länsimetro Oy will remain the owner, maintainer and developer of the rail line, stations and metro system west of Ruoholahti.

Commuter traffic on the first phase, i.e. the Ruoholahti–Matinkylä section, began in November 2017. Commuter traffic on the new Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section will begin on 3 December 2022.Further information:
Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy, tel. +358 (0) 40 823 2086, ville.saksi@lansimetro.fi

West Metro project, Project Director, Jaakko Naamanka, Sweco Oy, tel. +358 (0) 400 421 143, jaakko.naamanka@sweco.fi

New section of metro line from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti to open on 3 December

The metro will start operating to Kivenlahti in Espoo on Saturday 3 December. The new section of line is seven kilometers long, with five new stations: Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti.

Once the new stations are operational, there will be 30 metro stations in total. The metro network in Helsinki and Espoo is now 43 kilometers long.

The metro was extended from Ruoholahti to Matinkylä with eight new stations in 2017, when the first phase of the West Metro was completed. Since then, the works have continued to the west of Matinkylä.

– The timelines and costs of the construction of the metro extension were kept in line with the decisions of the Espoo City Council, says Olli Isotalo, the Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, the Chairman of the Board of Länsimetro.

– Even though the metro starts operating, construction continues around the stations. In the existing areas of Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti development will be concentrated around the stations and services will improve. A completely new residential area will be created in Finnoo, continues Isotalo.

– The metro is now complete. The work of decades is coming to an end, although work to develop the metro will continue. The metro is the most popular mode of public transport: 93 percent of our customers gives the metro a good or very good rating. The environmentally friendly metro has a revolutionary impact on people’s mobility in its area, and it is also very important for the vitality of the capital region and Finland as a whole, says HSL Executive Director Mika Nykänen.

There will be no changes to feeder bus services when the new section of line opens. The metro will run in parallel with the current services for a few months. New bus routes aligned with the new section of metro line will be introduced in early 2023. The final date will be announced later.

The new metro timetables as well as bus routes and timetables will be available on the HSL Journey Planner well before the changes take effect.

The city grows with the metro line

Even though the metro runs underground in Espoo, its impacts are also felt above the ground.

The metro extension brings with it plenty of new opportunities, such as new services, apartments and jobs, thus increasing the vitality of the city. With the metro, a completely new neighborhood, Finnoo, is being created and the attractiveness of existing developments increases. The metro zone in Espoo has a growth potential of 70,000 new residents and potential for a 100 percent increase in the number of jobs by 2050.

–  The metro supports the city’s network-like structure of five city centers and sustainable urban development. Compact centers are built next to and on top of the metro line, with areas dominated by detached houses around them, explains the Mayor of Espoo, Jukka Mäkelä.

— The growth corridor of the West Metro is also crucial for the competitiveness of Espoo and Finland as a whole, and significantly promotes cooperation between companies, universities and cities, continues Mäkelä.

Western Espoo along the new section of the metro line has the biggest growth potential for public transport in the HSL area.

Frequent service and safe journeys

The metro is operated by the Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd, which is also responsible for property maintenance and system supervision on the entire metro line.

– Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd and our 150 metro drivers are ready for the extension of metro services. We have prepared for the launch of services through various preparatory works. In addition to driver training and test runs, we have worked to ensure the operability of the section of line and that all technical control systems function properly when the services start. The metro is one of the most important parts of our operations. Its safety and reliability are a matter of honor to us, says the acting CEO of the Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd Antti Nousiainen.

Stations display architectural prowess

The Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section of the West Metro was completed in September. The construction project met all the the objectives set for it, such as objectives related to scheduling, costs, risks, quality, cooperation and occupational safety. After construction, Länsimetro Oy will be the owner of the tracks, stations and the metro system from Ruoholahti westwards, as well as responsible for their maintenance and development.

– The West Metro stations are architecturally attractive, Finnish architectural expertise at its best, and the unique stations serve as business cards for the areas. We eagerly look forward to welcoming passengers to the new metro stations and to enjoy the benefits of this fast mode of public transport safely, says the CEO of Länsimetro Oy Ville Saksi

The City of Espoo website: www.espoo.fi
Helsinki Region Transport website: www.hsl.fi
Metropliran Area Transport Ltd website: www.kaupunkiliikenne.fi
Länsimetro Oy website: www.lansimetro.fi


More information:

Espoo, Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment Olli Isotalo, +358 50 593 3359, olli.isotalo@espoo.fi

HSL, Executive Director Mika Nykänen, tel. +358 9 4766 4040

Länsimetro Oy, CEO Ville Saksi, tel +358 40 823 2086

Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd, Head of Unit Antti Nousiainen, tel. +358 40 579 6074

The construction contracts for West Metro’s stations and rail line have been completed

The remaining work has been scheduled so that Länsimetro Oy can hand over the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section to Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd in the autumn of 2022. At the same time, Finland’s largest infrastructure, HVAC and electricity and automation project will end. HSL will decide on the start of passenger traffic.

Construction and testing of the West Metro’s Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section has progressed to the stage where the five metro stations (Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Kivenlahti and Espoonlahti) and the rail line construction contracts ended on Friday, 13 May 2022. The Sammalvuori metro depot construction contract ended already in 2020. In April, the final testing of the systems ensuring passenger safety was carried out, and in May, the final approvals were obtained from authorities.

During the entire project, around 30,000 people were inducted in the various contracts, a total of around 2,100 person-years. The number of people working at the worksites was at its largest in November 2019, at 1,174 people. There were 905 companies involved in the various contracts.

The construction contract for the Finnoo metro station was carried out by a consortium formed by GRK Infra Oy and Aki Hyrkkönen Oy, while YIT Suomi Oy and Are Oy were responsible for the Kaitaa metro station, a consortium formed by YIT Suomi Oy and Are Oy for the Soukka metro station, and SRV Rakennus Oy and Kivenlahden Skanska Infra Oy for the Espoonlahti metro station. The rail line contract was implemented by GRK Infra Oy. The depot’s excavation and construction contract was implemented by the Sammalvuori consortium (Kalliorakennus-Yhtiöt Oy, EM Pekkinen Oy, Terrawise Oy and Aro-Systems Oy).

Alteration work on the overhaul track and night-time train depot underway to the west of Matinkylä station

“We are building one of the world’s safest metro systems. The remaining work will be scheduled so that we can hand over the section to the traffic operator Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd in the early autumn of 2022. At the same time, Finland’s largest infrastructure, HVAC and electricity and automation project will end,” says Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy.

On 9 May 2022, the restoration of the overhaul track and night-time train depot to the west of the current western terminal station Matinkylä began. When metro traffic continues from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti, the space in question will no longer be used as a service and storage area for metro trains, and the area will be available to metro traffic. The work will continue until 20 July 2022. Following the restoration work, Länsimetro Oy will hand over the final management of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section’s metro stations, rail line and depot to the traffic operator Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd in the autumn.

In addition, Länsimetro Oy is commissioning a park and ride facility at Kivenlahti, which will be completed in early 2023. Construction of the park and ride facility began in November 2021.

For commuters, the new rail section will provide a direct metro line to Kivenlahti. The new metro stations are Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti. The length of the rail section available to passengers is seven kilometres. In addition, Sammalvuori has an underground metro depot. HSL will decide on the start of passenger traffic on the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section.

Further information
Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy
Marianne Partanen, Communications Manager, Länsimetro Oy

Artwork for the West Metro extension completed – metro service will start in 2023

The artwork at the new West Metro stations has been completed. Each of the five stations features a piece of art that matches the architecture of the station. The aim is to make the stations more attractive, inviting and recognisable. 

Right now, testing of the different systems in various emergency situations is underway at the Matinkylä-Kivenlahti section’s stations and metro line. The metro service is expected to start between Matinkylä and Kivenlahti during 2023.

The works of art, which represent different forms of art, must also mesh with the station’s architecture and be easy to maintain. The art makes the stations more inviting and attractive, but its purpose is also linked to the entire station’s design – it improves navigation by helping passengers tell each station apart.

“Tens of thousands of people use the metro each day. More and more travellers arrive in Espoo by metro. The metro station is our calling card and it improves people’s daily lives. Art plays a big role in making the stations more attractive and inviting,” says Susanna Tommila, Cultural Director for the City of Espoo.

The works of art were realised collaboratively by the artists, architects and station contractors as part of the stations’ construction project. Integrated into the station’s architecture and structures, the art replaces some of the station’s other structures such as sections of the platform wall. The total cost of the artwork is estimated at some EUR 1.2. million.

“Participating in the art project has been a great experience. It has been a long process from selecting the artists to the completion of the works of art. Collaboration with the stations’ architects has been excellent,” says the project’s art coordinator Jaakko Niemelä. 

The creations are mostly located on the station platforms where they are also visible from the trains.

“It was important to us to add different forms of art to the West Metro’s phase two stations and we were looking for new types of innovations from each artist. At the same time, the creations are an interesting representation of each artist’s body of work. I’m delighted that art has been given such a significant role in the West Metro’s Matinkylä-Kivenlahti section,” says Pilvi Kahlama, Executive Director of EMMA.

More information about artworks and artists.

Each of the five stations features a piece of art that matches the architecture of the station. Watch the videos. 

More information
Satu Linkola, Communications Director, Länsimetro Oy, tsatu.linkola(at)lansimetro.fi

Testing of West Metro commuter safety systems begins at Kaitaa

The testing of more than 50 different technical systems in case of emergencies, such as power outages and fires, has begun at the Kaitaa metro station. The metro service is expected to start up between Matinkylä and Kivenlahti during 2023. Approved station-specific simultaneous test runs and testing of all of the systems is necessary before passenger traffic can begin.

The various technical systems, many of which are located on several floors at the ends of the metro platform and in the metro tunnel’s facilities, are a part of modern metro infrastructure that is invisible to passengers. The systems are largely related to passenger safety in emergencies. While every single device and component has been subjected to point testing and the systems have undergone test runs, only the simultaneous operation of all of the systems in different emergencies is proof that the station is ready for the metro service to start up.

The first emergency test will be carried out at the Kaitaa metro station halfway through October. First up is the testing of the systems’ operation during a short and long loss of power supply. In connection with the power outage test, also the systems’ operation during flooding will be tested. Towards the end of October, fire testing will take place at different points in the metro tunnel and station. All-in-all, the station testing will take around 4–5 weeks.

Kaitaan metroaseman sisäänkäynnit ovat Kaitaantien sisäänkäynti ja Iivisniemenkallion sisäänkäynti. Iivisniemenkallion sisäänkäynti otetaan matkustajien käyttöön vasta myöhemmin.
The first emergency test will be carried out at the Kaitaa metro station halfway through October. The station testing will take around 4–5 weeks.

Blackout tests ensure the operation of critical equipment

Power outage tests ensure that the station’s electrical systems operate in different types of power outages of varying lengths. The power supply to equipment that is critical for the operation of the station is ensured through automated feed exchanges and double feeds, a standby generator or UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) devices. If the power supply is lost, the functioning of these devices is tested using blackout tests, simulating faults in the transformers supplying the station and checking the feed exchanges’, standby generator’s and UPS devices’ correct operation, and testing the operation of related devices during a power outage.

Systems start up automatically in a fire test

In a metro tunnel fire testing situation, a fire alarm detects an increase in heat in the tunnel, after which the systems operate automatically. The station’s and connecting tunnels’ over-pressurising systems are activated, the evacuation announcements start and the lighting, locking, info screen, elevator and escalator controls operate automatically as required by the emergency.

The first step in the fire tests is to ensure that the station is in its normal operating mode, i.e. all of the devices have been set to their normal metro service mode. The fire alarm will be activated from a predetermined mode, using a fire alarm or call point. The fire alarm is relayed to the automated systems, the metro control room and, in an actual situation, to the emergency services. Based on the location of the fire, the automated systems turn on automatically-activating smoke compartments and escape route over-pressurisations, turn off the ventilation, control the station’s lighting, open the locking of escape routes, close fire doors in public spaces, turn on the correct evacuation announcements (depending on the fire’s location) with which metro passengers are directed out along a safe route, relay the evacuation messages to the passenger info screens, control the camera surveillance system, turn on the elevators’ evacuation drive mode and stop the downward escalators.

Testing proceeding station by station

The joint testing of the systems will take place one station at a time. The testing involves not only the metro station, but also the operation of the systems on the rail area adjacent to the station.

“The operation of the systems is monitored during testing both onsite and in HKL’s control room in Herttoniemi, Helsinki. Different scenarios focus on testing different systems. If a specific area is not functioning as planned, the test will be repeated until the systems operate exactly as they were designed to do,” explains Commissioning Engineer Janne Ilkanheimo from the West Metro project.

In addition to the five new metro stations (Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti), also the operation of the Sammalvuori depot will be tested. The interface between the Matinkylä metro station and the new section was successfully tested in August.

The testing phase will be followed by approvals from authorities, the preparations for starting up the service made by HKL (Helsinki City Transport), which operates the trains, and the preparatory measures by HSL (Helsinki Region Transport) on the part of feeder traffic, for example. The metro service is expected to start up between Matinkylä and Kivenlahti during 2023.

Further information:

Janne Ilkanheimo, Commissioning Engineer, West Metro project, janne.ilkanheimo(at)lansimetro.fi

Communication enquiries, Satu Linkola, Communications Director, Länsimetro Oy, satu.linkola(at)lansimetro.fi

Public spaces are allowed to impress and awaken experiences – a new video series unveils the stories behind the West Metro’s eight stations from an artistic and architectural perspective

On Wednesday, 18 November 2020, it will be three years since the start of commuter traffic on the West Metro’s Ruoholahti–Matinkylä section and the inauguration of the eight new stations. In addition to the modern technological systems that guarantee functionality and safety, from the very beginning, the architectural planning of the new stations took into account different user groups, the location of the station and lighting. Each of the eight stations has its own unique identity, where the underground facilities engage in dialogue with the aboveground station environment and its characteristic features.

Länsimetro and Espoo’s City Events have collaboratively produced an eight-part video series, DESIGN.TUNNE.METRO., which will transport the viewer on an inspiring metro journey from Lauttasaari to Matinkylä. The journalist Riku Rantala explains in the videos how Otaniemi’s culturally significant linden alley was accounted for in the planning, how Lauttasaari’s dismantled iconic water tower is part of the metro station and why Tapiola station is a brilliant white.

The metro is an everyday mode of transport for its users and the video series encourages them to focus their gaze on the aesthetics of this backdrop to their daily lives and the small, carefully designed details. The West Metro’s stations are cultural destinations open to all city residents.

Watch the DESIGN.TUNNE.METRO. videos with your guide Riku Rantala. (videos only in Finnish)

City Events Espoo: www.espoo.fi/kaupunkitapahtumat
Presentation of metro stations: www.lansimetro.fi/en/stations/

West entrance at Matinkylä metro station to open to passengers on 1 October

The Matinkylä metro station’s west entrance will be opened to passengers on 1 October. The entrance’s address is Suomenlahdentie 9. A hotel that connects to the entrance will also be completed by the end of the year. In front of the hotel, on Tynnyritie, a new parking area for 32 bicycles will also serve metro commuters.

The Matinkylä metro station’s west entrance will be opened to passengers on 1 October. The entrance’s address is Suomenlahdentie 9.  Photo: M. Wirman.

The new entrance will connect Suomenlahdentie and Tynnyritie with the metro platform’s west end. It will provide an alternative route from the metro to the bus stops on Suomenlahdentie and buses heading in the direction of Finnoo. Matinkylä is the most-used metro station of all West Metro stations, calculated by number of commuters in 2019, and the second entrance will balance out the number of commuters on the existing route to the bus terminal and Iso Omena shopping centre. Like the West Metro’s other entrances, the new entrance on the west side is wheelchair accessible.

The new entrance will connect Suomenlahdentie with Tynnyritie at the metro platform’s west end. Photo: M. Wirman.

Architecturally, the new entrance complements the existing architecture and appearance of the Matinkylä station. The colour scheme for the new entrance differs from that of the east entrance, helping commuters tell the entrances apart. Starting from the bottom of the escalators, the backlit glass on the east-side escalators changes from yellow to green and then blue. The wall of the new west entrance is adorned with different colours of the spectrum, from red and orange to violet.

Architecturally, the new entrance complements the existing architecture and appearance of the Matinkylä station. The wall of the new west entrance is from red and orange to violet. Photo: M. Wirman.

The entrance can now be opened, since other construction in the area has moved forward. Other services being built on the so-called Tynnyripuisto block are a new indoor swimming pool and a seniors’ residence. The area will also include new residential housing as well as the ‘Life and Living’ senior centre in Matinkylä, along Suomenlahdentie. All in all, an estimated 70,000 residents will live in the metro’s catchment area in the coming decades. Correspondingly, the south entrance to Tapiola station was opened to passengers in the spring of 2019 as construction there progressed.

Länsimetro Oy’s task is to build, own, maintain and develop the West Metro system, tracks and stations from Ruoholahti westwards. In the operating section of the West Metro, Länsimetro Oy is responsible for the functioning and safety of the infrastructure and systems, and oversees that the required maintenance and repairs are taken care of as planned. HKL is responsible for repairs and maintenance as well as for the metro traffic.

“As a responsible owner, we wish to continuously develop and improve the commuter experience. We are making sure that our part is technically modern, based on digital control and maintenance, and world-class in term of safety”, says Länsimetro Oy’s CEO, Ville Saksi.          

Construction of the second phase from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti is ongoing and progressing on schedule and within budget. Work is also taking place around the architecture and look of the second phase stations.

“We want to build appealing stations that are iconic landmarks in their area. Each new station will feature a work of art that will reinforce the station’s identity”, says Saksi.

More photos

Situation management model keeps West Metro on schedule

Construction of the West Metro’s Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section is underway at all five stations and the rail section. The construction of the Sammalvuori depot has progressed to the testing phase. The schedule and costs of Finland’s largest automation, HVAC and electricity and infrastructure project are monitored in the project’s war room. The project is progressing in line with the project plan’s schedule and budget.

The nerve centre of the situation management model is the war room, which produces real-time information on the various construction areas. The project’s schedule, costs, risks, quality, smoothness of co-operation and occupational safety are monitored from the war room.

In terms of space, the construction of just one modern West Metro station is the equivalent of building a mid-sized shopping centre underground. The project involves a number of players – the developer, designers and engineers, equipment suppliers, contractors, subcontractors and authorities – who must all stick to the same schedule and pull together.

Data is supplied to the war room by contractors and West Metro’s worksite supervision. It is important not to manage the project based on information obtained from a single source; integrated situational information compiled from a number of sources helps create an overall picture of the project. The quality of the situational information has also been a focus area. The war room processes and refines recent and accurate information that is verified by several sources.

“In terms of schedule, we monitor, for example, the schedule announced by the project management contractor and the progress of the sub-contracts at each of the stations. The monitoring of the schedule is supported by cost monitoring based on several sources and West Metro’s own worksite supervision. In addition, we monitor the progress of the work through worksite visits and documentation,” says Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy.

Without the situation management model, monitoring such a large project and ensuring that it is kept on schedule and on budget would be a daunting task. The model was especially designed for managing a large project such as the West Metro based on the experiences gained during Phase I of Länsimetro’s project. The project is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that each contract and job is completed on time.

“Situation management means management through data, in which we are forerunners. With the help of the model, we are able to react to issues, quality problems and schedule challenges before they pose a threat to the entire project’s targets. It all comes down to proactively promoting work and addressing problems in time,” Saksi continues.

2020 will be an intense year of construction for the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti metro section. The focus of construction shifted in the spring from structural work to surfaces and interiors, HVAC and electricity and automation installations. On Länsimetro’s part, the construction will end with the simultaneous handover of all five stations and the 16.5-kilometre rail section to the metro operator in 2023.

First rails for phase II of West Metro project to be installed in summer

The superstructures contract for the rails of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section of the West Metro project has begun. The contract covers the laying of ballast, and the installation of cable ducts, sleepers, rails and the conductor rail. Once this work is completed, test runs of the metro train will be conducted on the new section in summer 2021. The first rails have already arrived at Matinkylä and are awaiting installation.

2020 will be an intense year of construction for the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti metro section. The focus of construction shifted in the spring from structural work to surfaces and interiors, HVAC and electricity and automation installations. All five metro stations as well as the rail line have several contracts under way and an increasing number of operators working on them. The Sammalvuori depot has already progressed to the testing phase. The depot will be completed this year. Overall, the project is proceeding in line with the project plan’s schedule and budget.

“The superstructures contract for the rail tunnels will begin with the laying of sub-ballast. The total length of the rail tunnel is 17.5 kilometres. The ballast will be brought into the tunnel in dump trucks: one load of ballast will cover approximately five metres of track. Noise insulation will be installed underneath the layer of ballast in both tunnels to ensure that structure-borne noise does not carry to the buildings above,” says Juha-Matti Pakka, supervisor of the rail engineering contracts on the West Metro project.

The next stage will see the switches installed in the tunnel; these will be measured and adjusted multiple times during the contract. Retaining wall elements, the top of which serves as an emergency exit route and the inside of which contains the technology required for a modern metro system, have already been installed in the tunnels as part of an earlier contract. The retaining wall’s cable ducts will be installed in conjunction with the levelling of the ballast.

The next step will be to install the sleepers in the tunnel. The section will have a total of 27,400 sleepers, supplied by Parma’s Forssa factory. The rails to be installed on the sleepers will arrive from Spain and will be welded into 120-metre lengths at Vossloh’s Kaipiainen factory. The rails will be delivered during the night via the Vuosaari harbour, through the current metro line to Matinkylä, and from there to the new section. The rails for the work track are already at Matinkylä, awaiting installation west of Matinkylä.

After the rails are installed, the track ballast will be laid using a ballast spreader that was specially made for the contract. Track ballast is laid in between the sleepers.

“After the track ballast is levelled out, the rail line will be supported and welded into a continuous track. Continuous track welding requires close monitoring and documentation of the rail’s temperature. This will ensure the smoothest and most consistent metro ride for future commuters,” says Pakka.

After the rail installation, a conductor rail will be affixed to the supports on every ninth sleeper. The conductor rail will be switched live in summer 2021, and thereafter test runs can begin.

The target schedule is to hand over the stations and rail line and their technical systems to the metro operator HKL in 2023. Länsimetro Oy will remain the owner and developer of the metro section.


Photos of phase II of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section of the track before the start of the superstructures contract.

The metro tunnel before the ballast, sleepers and rails (flickr)

A connecting tunnel linking two parallel tunnels (flickr)

A map of the West Metro line Ruoholahti–Matinkylä and Matinkylä–Kivenlahti (flickr)

Photos of the stages of phase I of the Ruoholahti–Matinkylä superstructures contract:

Keilaniemi before the installation of the rails (flickr album)

Installation of the rails in phase I (flickr album)

The track from Ruoholahti westward, before the installation of the rails (flickr album)


West Metro stations’ lighting wins in Nordic illumination competition

Länsimetro’s metro stations have been awarded for their lighting for the fourth time now. This time the stations’ lighting won the Nordisk Lyspris, i.e. the Nordic Lighting Design Awards 2020 competition.

The West Metro stations’ lighting was Finland’s first to win the Nordic Lighting Design Awards 2020 competition. The lighting in the public spaces of the eight metro stations that are part of phase I of the West Metro (i.e. Lauttasaari, Koivusaari, Keilaniemi, Aalto University, Tapiolan, Urheilupuisto, Niittykumpu and Matinkylä) was designed by VALOA design. The overall architectural integration was headed by CJN Architects, and the architecture of the stations was designed by Helin & Co, ALA Architects and Esa Piironen, APRT Architects and HKP Architects. The electrical design was executed by Tauno Nissinen Ltd. and the electrical contractor was Are. The light art for the stations was provided by Tommi Grönlund and Petteri Nisunen (Keilaniemi station), and Lighting Design Collective, Helin & Co (Lauttasaari station).

Architecture, art and design create the metro stations’ identity

The purpose of the Nordic Lighting Design Awards 2020 is to highlight the special features of Nordic lighting culture. The award is given to stand-out lighting designs that use daylight or artificial light, combining aesthetics, architecture, technology, quality and energy in an exemplary manner. Originality and creativity play a major role when projects are assessed.

“The key of the West Metro stations’ lighting solution is the integration of light and architecture as a coherent entirety. Each station has its own identity which is formed from the combination of architecture, art, and light. The role of lighting has been considered diversely, and the solution is subdued, but also architecturally high-quality and functioning in commuters’ everyday lives. The high-quality visual impact is created by the repetitive lighting styles, non-glare, sufficient light levels and the integration of the lighting,” says VALOA design’s CEO Roope Siiroinen, who was the lighting designer for the metro stations.

According to the jury, the lighting is well-integrated into the architecture. There is a great variety among different stations, and yet each station remains within the overall lighting concept. Every station is unique but the resemblance between them is clear. The lighting designers have been successful in developing and applying many different solutions. The jury also very much appreciates how light is used on vertical surfaces and behind glass. This gives the feeling of a larger space and facilitates orientation.

“It is a great honour for Finland and the complete team behind the design of the Helsinki metro stations to be awarded the Nordic Lighting Design Award. The award means a lot to us and feels like a well-deserved prize after years of hard work, co-operation, and building the field of lighting design,” says Roope Siiroinen of VALOA design.

The winners were announced on Wednesday, 20 May on the Nordic Lighting Design Awards 2020 Nordisk Lyspris Facebook live broadcast. The Nordic Lighting Design Awards 2020 were presented for the first time in 2000. The competition is organised every two years. Each Nordic country sends the winner from its own competition to the awards. Earlier this year, the West Metro stations won in the interior illumination category of the Lighting Design of 2019 competition, and as its winner, the West Metro’s lighting took part in the Nordic illumination competition. Read more about the Nordic Lighting Design Awards 2020.

In addition to the Nordisk Lyspris 2020 – Nordic Lighting Design Awards, the lighting for the West Metro stations has won three other competitions:   

  • LDA Lighting Design Awards 2019: Highly Commended
  • LIT Lighting Design Awards 2019: Winner
  • Lighting Design of 2019

Read about all of the West Metro stations.

Further information:

Roope Siiroinen, lighting designer and CEO, Valoa design, tel. +358 (0) 50 0510 904, roope.siiroinen@valoa.com

Satu Linkola, Communications Director, Länsimetro Oy, tel. +358 (0) 46 877 3392, satu.linkola@lansimetro.fi

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