West Metro – Finland’s biggest infrastructure project
20 June 2016 • Author(s): Ville Lehmuskoski, CEO of Helsinki City Transport and Matti Kokkinen, CEO of Länsimetro Oy
The West Metro project is the biggest infrastructure project in Finland, extending Helsinki’s metro network to the city of Espoo. In the project’s first phase, eight new stations will be constructed with a further five built during the second phase. The metro will operate on 21km of underground lines in two parallel tunnels constructed through tough rock infrastructure. Ville Lehmuskoski, CEO of Helsinki City Transport and Matti Kokkinen, CEO of Länsimetro Oy, share further information about the project as the first construction phase is due to be completed in August 2016.
The new stations along the first phase of the 14km-long Ruoholahti– Matinkylä section will be located in Lauttasaari and Koivusaari in Helsinki, and in Keilaniemi, Otaniemi, Tapiola, Urheilupuisto, Niittykumpu and Matinkylä in Espoo. The 7km-long Matinkylä– Kivenlahti section of the metro line will be completed during the second phase of construction and will include five new stations at Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti.
In addition to the stations, 23 shafts will be built for emergency exits that are also used to house pressure equalisation, ventilation and smoke extraction systems.
An underground metro depot will also be constructed in Sammalvuori for housing and maintaining the metro vehicles.
Metro traffic started in Helsinki in 1982 with the Rautatientori– Itäkeskus connection. Since then the metro network has been extended in several stages with the latest station in Kalasatama having opened in 2007. Currently the Helsinki metro system has 17 stations.
In June 2007 the cities of Espoo and Helsinki jointly founded a company called Länsimetro Oy (West Metro Ltd.) to construct the West Metro line and its stations which began in 2009. The construction of the first phase of the West Metro will be completed in August 2016 and the entire line from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti will be completed by 2020 at the earliest.