Metro service to Espoo finally to open on Nov 18
11 Nov 2017, 02:01 ( 2 Months ago) | updated: 11 Nov 2017, 12:09 ( 2 Months ago)
Tapiola Metro Station. Photo Länsimetro Oy by Janne Lehtinen.
The long-delayed West Metro services between Helsinki and Espoo, which was originally scheduled to be opened in 2014, is going to start operation on November 18.
The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority-HSL on Friday said that the Metro extension from Ruoholahti to Matinkylä will open to passenger service on the day, said a press release.
“The Helsinki Metro operator HKL has informed us that it is now possible to start Metro service to Matinkylä. It is great to finally be able to provide rail services also in South Espoo and Lauttasaari,” said Suvi Rihtniemi, Executive Director of HSL.
“Now that all defects have either been fixed or are due to be fixed in the next few days and the other criteria have been met, our prerequisites to start passenger service have been met,” said Ville Lehmuskoski, Managing Director of HKL.
HKL will continue the preparations for the opening of the new Metro line next week. In addition, test runs on the full length of the Metro line will continue until the beginning of passenger service.
Passenger service will begin on Saturday morning 18 November. The first train on the new section of line will leave from Matinkylä to Vuosaari at 5.09am.
The Metro will operate on two lines: Matinkylä-Vuosaari and Tapiola-Mellunmäki. In the east, every other train goes to Vuosaari, every other to Mellunmäki as at present. In Espoo, every other train will turn around at Tapiola and every other will continue to Matinkylä.
On the shared section of line between Tapiola and Itäkeskus, the Metro will run every 2.5 minutes.
During the daytime Monday through Friday as well as on Saturdays, trains will run approximately every four minutes. On Sundays and at other times, trains will run every five minutes on the shared section of line, the press release added.
The Metro Service last scheduled to start operation in late September was delayed further as the authorities responsible failed to fix up exact date.
The Länsimetro Oy, the company implementing the project, earlier decided that management of the stations, shafts, track and building services systems of the Ruoholahti to Matinkylä will be handed over to Helsinki City Transport (HKL) at the beginning of September, but the authority failed to make the handover as two stations were not ready.
The implementation of the West Metro project from Ruoholahti in Helsinki to Matinkylä in Espoo was originally scheduled to open in 2014, but the project has been delayed repeatedly with the last deadline for completion set for early 2017 after the August 2016 deadline was also delayed.
Earlier, in October 2016, the authorities said the opening of the West Metro Services will be delayed further due to hardware faults.
Then again in June 2016, the West Metro authorities said its test run for passengers would begin no later than January 2017.
However, the initiation of the test traffic has required more time than foreseen, as tests related to fire situations conducted at Aalto University have found faults in the operations of equipment, the sources said.
The authorities even failed to estimate the possible timetable for beginning of the operations.
In September 2016, the Helsinki City Corporation decided to investigate into the reasons behind the delay in launching the West Metro services.
The city authorities appointed the accounting and advisory services firm BDO Ltd to probe into the matter.