HSL West Metro – how we build one of the safest metro systems in the world

Date and time: Monday 27 April 2020, 15.15–18.00
15.15 Departure from the conference venue
15.30 Train from the nearby Pasila railway station, continue to Matinkylä
17.15 End of tour, back to Helsinki city centre by 18.00
Capacity: 25 participants
Tour organiser: Helsinki Region Transport (HSL)

Metro station
Photo: Indav, Timo Kauppila

The metro line in the Helsinki metropolitan area is extended to the west in two phases. The first phase, from Ruoholahti to Matinkylä, with eight new stations was completed in 2017, and five more will be included in the second phase. The metro will operate on a rail line of 21 kilometres in two parallel tunnels. In addition to stations, a total of 23 shafts will be built for pressure equalisation, ventilation and smoke extraction. The shafts will also be used as emergency exits.

The West Metro is one of the safest metro systems in the world. In an emergency, passengers can exit the tunnel and enter the neighbouring tunnel. The distance between connection tunnels is about 150–170 metres, and exit shafts are located every 600 metres. There is a pedestrian walkway in the tunnel, which is also equipped with signal and safety lights. In addition to signposts every 25 metres, the metro has a video surveillance system, and the trains have a public-address system for emergencies. All the critical functions in the metro are designed as fail-safe.