The construction of the Ruoholahti–Matinkylä section of the west metro is in the testing phase. The joint test run of the Aalto University station will continue in week 42 After this, the joint test run will be expanded step-by-step to the subsequent stations. Any defects noted during joint test runs will be fixed immediately.

The Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section is currently being excavated. The excavation work began in late 2014. More than 40 per cent of the tunnels have been excavated.

Joint test runs ensure metro safety

Before the metro is opened to the public, tests and joint test runs are required to ensure that it runs as planned.  The suppliers of each system will test their systems before the final testing phase, i.e. the joint test run. In addition, Länsimetro is conducting operational trials. After this, the stations will enter the joint test run phase, which will take several days.

The joint test run will ensure that the metro is safe to use and that all systems smoothly interact. In addition the station tested, the joint test run will test the functioning of adjacent stations and the metro line as a whole. System operations will be trialled using several emergency drills. Particular attention will be paid to restoring systems to normal after incidents. The joint test run will include the suppliers of various systems, contractors and the emergency services, if necessary. The situation will be monitored on site and from Helsinki City Transport’s metro control room in Herttoniemi, where the metro’s operations and traffic are overseen.

Building technology supervision will monitor station operations

One of the key systems tested during the joint test runs is building technology supervision. The building technology supervision system monitors the operations of other systems such as ventilation, access control, pumps, elevators, escalators, fire detectors and smoke detectors. The system monitors all equipment and systems that safeguard the safety and smooth running of the metro.

The building technology supervision system is programmed on the basis of performance specifications. It is carefully tested in advance, for example by simulating input and output signals. This ensures that the system is working as planned. The entire metro is tested on site, using existing equipment. I/O points along the entire metro line, consisting of equipment and systems provided by various subcontractors, are connected to the system. The system has a so-called normal interface. A challenge is posed by the large amount of connected equipment and its reliable functioning. Joint test runs are the only way to discover how everything interacts, particularly in emergency situations.  All equipment is tested individually and its smooth operation is verified before it is tested jointly. The technical systems of the west metro are connected to the systems of the current metro. They have been designed using the same operational architecture to ensure that current supervision practices can also be used when supervising the building technology of the new metro line.

From tests into operation

The preconditions for opening the three stations to traffic can only be assessed after the joint test run has been completed.  The Helsinki City Rescue Department and the Länsi-Uusimaa Rescue Department will approve the security systems on the basis of the test results. After this, the building authorities of Helsinki and Espoo will be free to approve the use of the stations and rail tunnels. Helsinki City Transport (HKL) will ensure that the track engineering security systems, including semaphore systems and indicators, are working properly.  Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) will decide when passenger traffic begins and when feeder bus lines start operating.