Finland: Fairway Agency, #Proxion Sign Agreement on Tuomarila – Kauklahti #Espoo City Line

The Espoo city rail will improve the quality of both short-distance and long-distance traffic – construction planning will begin

The Fairway Agency and Proxion have signed an agreement worth more than EUR 2 million for the construction planning of the Tuomarila – Kauklahti section of the Espoo city line. 

The railway project will increase the level of commuter train traffic and reduce traffic disruptions on the Helsinki-Turku connection. A-Insinöörit works as a sub-consultant for Proxion in the planning of a major joint project between the Finnish Railway Agency, Espoo and Kauniainen.

The Finnish Railway Agency and Proxion have entered into an agreement worth approximately EUR 2.3 million for the design of an urban railway in the city of Espoo. The city line responds to the growth in passenger numbers by improving the service level and punctuality of local and long-distance train traffic. At the same time, the project will significantly develop the urban environment of Espoo and Kauniainen.

The city track is also the first phase of the Turku high-speed train connection, ie the hourly train project.

– With the help of two new tracks, we can separate long-distance and commuter traffic on their own tracks. In this way, we reduce the susceptibility of rail traffic to disturbances and can increase the interval of commuter traffic to a metric dense pace, says project manager Tommi Rosenvall from the Finnish Rail Agency .

In a demanding joint project between the Finnish Railway Agency, Espoo and Kauniainen, two additional tracks will be built between Leppävaara and Kauklahti next to the existing tracks, the equipment level of eight stations will be improved and access parking areas will be developed.

The project will be implemented in terms of construction and traffic

Coordinating the work phases of a railway project with continuous train traffic in a dense urban environment is a challenge that requires careful communication solutions in addition to clear communication. The main consultant for the design project is Proxion, which is responsible for the design of the city line in the Espoo city area from the Tuomarila overpass to Kauklahti together with A-Insinööri.

– The current track is located in a dense urban environment, so the construction of two new tracks will also pose challenges on the planning table. With all design solutions, we aim to reduce and prevent traffic disruptions during construction, both for rail traffic and for light and vehicle traffic, says Business Director Mikko Saarinen from Proxion.

– The Espoo City Railroad is a versatile design project, the prerequisite for its success is smooth co-operation with the Finnish Rail Agency and other stakeholders. It is very important for Proxion to be involved in the top projects of Finnish rail traffic, which develop our railway system and streamline both short-distance and long-distance traffic, Saarinen continues.

The planning starts immediately with the compilation of the initial data, the modeling of the current state and the refinement of the solutions of the previous planning stage. The active planning period for the urban railway project is two years and the entire project is estimated to be completed in 2028.

Challenging ground conditions require special expertise in geotechnics

The diverse environment of the new line section and the demanding ground conditions require extensive special design expertise.

– The track section has a lot of soft clay, so we are designing several permanent retaining walls and pile slabs. There will also be three new bridges, one new rock tunnel and demanding rock cuts on the section of track, Ilona Häkkinen, Director of Geo- and Rock Technology, says A-Engineers.

– In order for traffic to continue uninterrupted, we focus resources on work phasing and planning work-time arrangements. The design of in-service trenches and supports next to a trafficked track requires special geotechnical expertise. The project is particularly significant because we can improve transport connections in an environment that is very familiar to us, Häkkinen says.

The total estimated cost of the urban railway project is EUR 275 million. The costs are divided in half between the state and the cities (Espoo 40%, Kauniainen 10%). EU funding has been received for the planning phase from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The CEF Committee of the European Commission has awarded a 50% grant for the construction design of the project, with an estimated cost of € 22 million.

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