The eight stations and 14 kilometres of track to Matinkylä are due to open to the public on 15 August 2016. The excavation and building works have employed approximately 1,500 builders, and the total workload across the project will amount to approximately 4,500 person-years. The final cost estimate for the project is EUR 1,088 million. The project plan gave the cost of the project as EUR 713.6 million (at 2007 prices). Taking into account the rate of inflation, the cost estimate was EUR 848.0 million. The final cost of the project will therefore be EUR 240 million, or 28.3%, higher than planned.
Excavation works began in November 2009. The tunnels had been dug by February 2014, and the tracks had been laid by December 2015. In addition to new stations and two parallel rail tunnels, the project has involved building 15 vertical shafts for emergency exit, ventilation, pressure relief and smoke extraction purposes, nine sets of points, and a total of 54 cross passages between the twin tunnels. Passenger safety is ensured by the underground network’s 52 different automation systems. Safety is further reinforced by systems such as 32 smoke extractors, automatic smoke detection systems, fire extinguisher systems and fire escapes, as well as eight auxiliary power units. All the entrances to the underground are wheelchair accessible. There are a total of 46 lifts and 72 escalators in the underground.
The various systems will be tested independently, per station, and together during the spring. Trains will begin test runs in March. Once the line opens to the public, bus routes that previously terminated in Kamppi will be extended to provide a connecting service to Matinkylä and Tapiola according to a plan drawn up by Helsinki Region Transport. Underground trains will run more frequently than they do now. Two underground lines will be in operation: Matinkylä–Vuosaari and Tapiola–Mellunmäki. At peak times on weekdays, trains will run at 2.5-minute intervals on the section shared by both lines (Tapiola–Itäkeskus). Underground trains currently run at four-minute intervals during peak times.
Matti Kokkinen, CEO, Länsimetro Oy, tel. +358 50 347 1558, firstname.lastname@example.org
Länsimetro Oy is a company jointly owned by the Cities of Espoo and Helsinki, tasked with building the West Metro underground line. The Ruoholahti–Matinkylä section will open to the public in August 2016. Construction of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section is under way. This stretch will be completed in 2020.