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Airport railway nearly ready

Article published
2.3.2015 at 07:00
Helsinki Airport is also set to double as a railway station when the Ring Rail Line under the terminals opens to rail traffic in July. The railway will be tested for two weeks in March.

Before July, various commissioning tests fill the schedule of Project Manager Juha Kansonen from the Finnish Transport Agency. The new stations are almost ready, with the exception of the airport station, and the rail traffic from Vantaankoski to Tikkurila is just waiting for the word ‘go’.

The work began in 2009 and the costs amount to some 750 million euros. Completion is scheduled for July of this year.

The length of the Ring Rail Line is 18 km, of which 8 km is comprised of tunnels. The airport and Aviapolis stations are situated 40 metres below ground level.

Testing to get under way in February

Access control tests will start in February. Their aim is to ensure that all safety equipment works appropriately on different vehicles.

Right after that, the electric railway structures will be connected to the electrical network. Kansonen reassures that information regarding the dangers of electric railway lines will be provided to the pupils of schools situated near the line well in advance.

By the end of March, it will be time to test drive the SM5 low-floor trains on the line. This test reviews the performance and characteristics of the rolling stock in use, and verifies the accuracy of planned timetables.

'We'll monitor how well the new trains accelerate and brake, especially on downhill and uphill sections', says Kansonen.

An evacuation drill to end the testing stage

Safety is the main area of focus in the evacuation drill organised by the Rescue Department in May.

The purpose is to ensure that passengers can be evacuated from tunnels through emergency exits in case of fire or other emergencies. The same event also tests the functionality of smoke extraction methods and fire detection and extinguishing systems.

Daily traffic for the Helsinki Airport station is estimated to be around 14,000 people by 2025.

The Ring Rail Line is being built by the Finnish Traffic Agency, along with the City of Vantaa and Finavia.

Read more about the development of the airport

Photo: Finnish Transport Agency

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