Current bus services in Espoo and Lauttasaari to be maintained at least until August

The current bus services in Espoo and Lauttasaari will be maintained at least until the beginning of the autumn timetable season in August. On Tuesday 31 January, Länsimetro Oy announced that from a technical point of view, Metro services to Matinkylä could start running in June 2017. HSL will decide when the line opens for passenger service and when the switch to feeder bus services takes place once the completion of the works has been confirmed. The schedule will be revised in May.

Joint test runs have been conducted at Aalto University, Tapiola, Keilaniemi, Koivusaari and Lauttasaari stations. The tests will now continue at Urheilupuisto, Niittykumpu and Matinkylä stations. On the basis of the tests performed, Metro services to Matinkylä could, from a technical point of view, start operating in June 2017 as estimated earlier. By contrast, it will not be possible to start services to Tapiola in April 2017, as previously estimated.

The estimate is based on the testing of the sliding fire doors in the Metro tunnels. The tests conducted by Länsimetro revealed that the fire doors did not close properly and this problem must be resolved. In case of a fire, the sliding fire doors separate the Metro tunnel from other areas. There are altogether 98 fire doors along the 28-kilometer section of line. The biggest doors are about 30 square meters.

“The objective of the joint test runs is to ensure the safety and reliability of the Metro line in all situations. Our estimate is that from a technical point of view, services to Matinkylä could still start in June. We will be able to revise the schedule in early May,” says the CEO of Länsimetro Oy, Ville Saksi.

“The good news is that the first results from the concrete strength tests revealed no problems,” continues Saksi.

“The Metro line is already nearly finished. Joint test runs have been conducted at five stations. The deficiencies observed in the tests must be resolved and at the same, we must ensure that the stations and the line comply with current regulations. The repairs and adjustments needed are within the final budget as money has been allocated for surprise expenses during the final phase of the project,” says the Chairman of the Board of Länsimetro Oy, Olli Isotalo.

Once all joint test runs have been completed, authorities in Espoo and Helsinki can approve the opening of the stations and tunnels. Helsinki City Transport will then take responsibility for the line and stations. HSL decides when the line will be opened for passenger service and when the feeder bus routes will start operating.

“Before we can decide when to switch to feeder bus services, we need to know for sure when the Metro line is fully finished,” says HSL Executive Director Suvi Rihtniemi.

“On the basis of the information available, a good date for the switch to feeder services might be 14 August, when the winter timetable season begins. Metro services to Matinkylä could start earlier. Our most important task is to ensure passengers' journeys in all situations.”