Suvi Rihtniemi, the chief executive of Helsinki Region Transport (HSL), has revealed that the long-awaited decision to commence passenger services on the western extension of Helsinki Metro could be made before the end of November.
“There’s now a good chance that the operations can commence as early as in November,” she told Uusi Suomi on Tuesday.
“It currently seems that the requirements are in place to make the decision in November. The decision to start operations is mine to make, as the chief executive,” she said, adding that the operations could be commenced approximately five weekdays after the decision has been made.
HSL on Monday took another step closer to commencing the services by successfully completing the third and final test run on the 14-kilometre extension between Ruoholahti, Helsinki, and Matinkylä, Espoo. A test run is deemed a success if over 90 per cent of trains leave the terminal station on schedule and if no delays exceeding two minutes occur.
The test run was completed successfully in part due to a decision to adjust the operating timetable to increase the time reserved for trains to turn around at the station.
Tero Anttila, the head of public transport planning at HSL, clarifies that the timetable adjustment will have no impact on the frequency of services on the new routes . The frequency of services between Tapiola, Espoo, to Itäkeskus, Helsinki, will be 2.5 minutes at peak traffic times and slightly over three minutes at other times. Services from Itäkeskus to Mellunmäki and Vuosaari, Helsinki, will be available every five or 7.5 minutes, depending on the time of day.
“One train was added to the operating fleet to optimise the journey and turnaround times,” he said. “We managed to get this working with minor adjustments.”
HSL has thereby met all of the quality requirements for commencing passenger services on the new routes: the successful completion of three test runs and trouble-free functioning of the station and other technical systems.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi