HSL, HKL, Länsimetro Oy and the City of Espoo have discussed the future operating conditions of the Metro in a joint working group. Five operating model options have been considered: the model including a turnaround track in Matinkylä, services operated according to the original project plan, increasing bus services parallel to the Metro, a model in which three out of four trains run to Kivenlahti at peak times and one train terminates at Tapiola, and a model in which all trains run to Kivenlahti.
The joint working group did not give its opion as to which alterative would be the best but simply identified the possibilities and requirements of each model.
According to HSL, extending the Tapiola line to Matinkylä would enable frequent services all the way to Matinkylä and the load would be more evenly distributed between the lines than in the other models. This speaks in favor of the option with a turnaround track in Matinkylä. The turnaround track in Tapiola would serve as a useful reserve in case of service disruptions. In addition, the model would provide flexibility in the planning of the use of the Sammalvuori depot.
The Matinkylä turnaround track would ensure Metro capacity well into the future
According to forecasts, the model including the Matinkylä turnaround track would ensure sufficient passenger capacity in 2030, even if the Metro would be operated with the headways of a driver-operated system. Together with Metro automation, the turnaround track would enable long-term development of the Metro system, for example, extension of the Metro line from Kivenlahti.
If the turnaround track is built, the completion of the Metro extension to Kivenlahti would be delayed by about 18 months and the works would cause changes to Metro services to Matinkylä. The construction of the turnaround track would cost about 99.6 million euros, partly depending on the duration of the construction.
The model in which all trains run to Kivenlahti requires up to 200 million euros investment for a balloon loop and a new depot, and the Metro extension to Kivenlahti would be delayed by up to five years. The additional costs of direct bus services depend on the number of services needed, but the costs would amount to about 10-15 million euros a year.
According to current estimates, Metro services to Kivenlahti will start operating in 2023. The construction of a turnaround track in Matinkylä would delay the opening of the Metro extension to Kivenlahti by about 18 months. Automated Metro services are set to begin in late 2020s.