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 4rail.net - Reference - Finland - Operators - HKL    

HKL, the City of Helsinki Transit Authority, is a major Finnish rail and bus operator and organizer. The volume for traffic within the city of Helsinki itself is bigger that the traffic in all the surrounding areas organized by Helsinki Metropolitan Transit Authority (YTV). Except for the buses where HKL is just an organizer, the role is similar to the pre European Union period: the organizer, owner and the operator is one and the same. A veru well working model for numerous cities around the worlds. 

There are several types of traffic inside Helsinki:
  • Local buses, trams and Metro inside Helsinki, organized by the HKL. 
  • Local buses and trains between the city of Helsinki and surrounding cities, organized by HMAC/YTV. 
  • Regional trains stop at several stations within Helsinki. These trains are orgaized by YTV and VR-Yhtyma.  
  • Long Distance trains are not allowed to be used for local traffic, although all stop in more than one station inside Helsinki. This long distance traffic is organized by VR-Yhtyma and the Ministry of transportation.  

 Rail Operations by Metro 
     
Metro background and history
Helsinki Metro started its daily operations just 25 years ago in 1982. They serve the desest populated area of one million people (although Helsinki itself has just 0,5 million inhabitants). Actually part of the Metro consept in Finland is that aroudn areas with Metro a lot of large scale housing will be built.
 
 
The original Metro line was opened east of the Helsinki center to relieve the traffic congestion there. Since 1982 several extensions have been built to both ends, and a number of stations have been added as well. The eastern end of the Metro currently actually has two separate lines which are normally trafficked with every other train each. Passengers travelling from one eastern branch line to another have good connections but need to change trains in Itakeskus.

M200 Helsinki Vuosaari
Metro M200 (generation 2 Metro car) stopping at the southeastern terminus Vuosaari. M200 is built by Bombardier and started their revenue traffic from 2001. Picture by Stanislav Voronin 2008. 

Extensions to Metro lines
The major extension of Metro line west to the city of Espoo got go ahead in 2008, after literally decades of discussions. This extension will greatly boost the credibility of the current heavy rail line as a mass transit solution. The alternatives for the line were for long the light rail (argued for city planning purposes, coverage and cost effectiveness) and the current well working bus routes.
 

Another line has been planned leading north of the Helsinki city center with interchange with the current line at the Kamppi station. The line would also have an interchange with normal railways at Pasila, a station with hundreds of train connection every day and rail lines to all of Finland. This would finally solve the extremely congested north-south connection within the city center.
The line is currently in the planning stage only and as a critically important to Helsinki, should be put forward shortly.    

Another extension is aimed towards east, where city of Helsinki just got new territory to provide more space for the urban housing.
Another 2 station extension is also planned for later building to the new harbor of Helsinki in Vuosaari.

Even a Metro line to the Helsinki Airport has been in discussions, but that project does not seem likely in the short run, since there is a competing rail connection via much faster, comfortable and flexible normal rail line planned, building starting in 2008.  

Metro rolling stock
The most common train types spotted on the Metro track are the 54 units of Metro M100 and M200 cars. In addition to these there are some maintenance of the way equipment. While the metro uses the same 5ft/1524mm gauge as the normal railways in Finland interconnecting with the national network for instance for transportation of the equipment is straightforward. 


M200 (generation 2) Metro vehicle by Bombardier, seen here in Rastila the same location as the picture below showing M100 generation 1 Metro car. Pictures by Stanislav Voronin 2007. 


M100:
-> Built 1976 - ?
-> Builder: Valmet (mechanical parts) and Strömberg (electronics) 
-> in service from year 1982, rebuilding program in progress
-> Numbers: 101 - 184
-> 130 seats/ pair of coaches (2 coaches form a unit) and room for 270 standing
-> Electrical systems:  third rail
-> Power: 500 kW (670 Hp)

-> Unit weight (empty): 31600 kilograms  
-> Length: 44,2 meters

-> Height: 3,6 meters
-> Width: 3,2 meters


M200:
-> Built in 2000 - 2001 by Bombardier Transportation
-> in service from year 2001

-> 123 seats/folding seats per pair of coaches (2 coaches form a unit) and room for 237 standing
-> Electrical systems:  third rail 
-> Motors 4 x traxis 115 kW
-> Power: 460 kW (616 Hp)  
-> Max. speed: 90 km/h (56 mph)

-> Unit weight: 32400 kilograms
-> Length: 44,3 meters
-> Height: 
-> Width:  3,2 m



M100 in Kulosaari Helsinki in the summer 2008. Picture by Sally McKey. 

 Light Rail operations     
More on the subjects later.


Also on Light Rail 
  Story on Vintage Trams by Stanislav Voronin   NEW (6.7.2008)  


  To the top of the page  

  Finnish reference main page  

     

Created for 4rail.net by John McKey and Stanislav Voronin. Pictures by Hannu Luukannel, Hannu Peltola, Ilkka Siissalo, Sanna Siissalo, Stanislav Voronin and John McKey.



 See also these pages! 

Finnish Railroads Main Page, a great place to start browsing this section.   


Finnish railroad organizations and railroad operators have their own pages, as well as the largest operator VR-Yhtyma and a newcomer to the field Junakalusto.

Helsinki Area Railroading
While much of the passenger traffic concentrates around the capital Helsinki, you might be interested in the roster pictures of VR-Yhtyma, Junakalusto and the city of Helsinki operator HKL. HKL operates the metro, buses and narrow gauge trams. 

   
   

You might also like to see the Finnish Rolling Stock Classes Page or the Rolling Stock Heritage Classes Page!

   
   

The Finnish Infrastructure Page gives you details on the railroad projects of past, present and the future. Finnish Railroad History Page describes the beginnings of Finnish railroading.  


Finnish location is quite challenging for the railroading, the European Union Railroading Page and the Rail Baltica Page shed light to this subject.
   

Russians in Finland Page brings you some of the exotic Russian models, many still dating back to the Soviet period.
   


Last but not least, Take a virtual tour with a Finnish heritage locomotive Vr1 / "Chicken". This story was brought to 4rail.net by Hannu Peltola.  
     
   
Hunting Wolfpacks
Lets hunt for some Wolfpacks! This is the special story page devoted to VR-Yhtyma Sr1 Wolves.




  

 HKL - Narrow Gauge Trams         
 HKL Vintage tram from 1959         









Vintage trams of Helsinki, Story by Stanislav Voronin 

It was fresh and lovely sunny day - temperature was just a few degrees above zero, but enough to melt morning frost (who said water gets frozen at 0C?), no clouds at all, which was after a week or more of grey skys and rain gradually turning to snow and back to the rain, enough to make Finns, who gathered at the spot, feel warm and to smile. Just a great day to go for a walk. I was lazy to wake up in the morning, expecting one more grey day and therefore came to the spot in Kallio area just on time to get last cup of a hot coffee (the must attribute of Finnish life) from the yellow tent near the tram stop. This was a celebration of the 85th anniversary of the tram route 3b. This route is special one, because it makes 8-shape route around Helsinki, which makes it perfect for site seeing. Tram runs in areas where you can see the history of Helsinki through various architectural styles of buildings – from imperial Russian style through post war housing.



There were two old trams running on route 3b, giving a free ride for everyone; and trams were crowded. I din’t like the idea to experience rush hour style transportation and decided to stay outside for a while.  The trams were going in opposite directions. So, I was lucky to catch on camera two trams at ones as seen on the photo. If it wouldn’t be modern cars along the roadsides breaking authentic atmosphere, it could be like a picture from the “old good days”.  :)

The construction years of there trams are 1955 and 1959 (#12), all built in Finland by Valmet.
Finally, after waiting for trams and snapping pictures for about two hours (full 3b circle takes at least one hour), I jumped into tram #12 for the last trip. It was nice get into warm cabin after a long photo session at fresh Finnish weather. I specially appreciated individual heating of the seats. All seats has individual heating, except four front rows (for no apparent reasons). The tram was perfectly restored and has brand new look. It was lovely to see big driver’s controls in steam punk style, disturbed only by modern electronic ticket selling device. Tram crawled through the area of Kallio, where buildings represent a mixture of late ugend (art neuvau) style and post-war socialist style housing. Together with the atmosphere of an old tram it was making a perfect “way back machine”. Passengers of this trip were basically tram enthusiasts. Who else want to ride on the tram all day?
It a nice final of my Saturday photo session.

I think that these trams could be still running for the regular traffic, creating special atmosphere of the city, why not? There are many cities, where much older and obsolete trams are still in use.
 

(Stanislav Voronin 2008)    
   
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