The Helsinki metro is undergoing a major upgrade to a more extensive and modern system. The upgrade is due to be completed by 2014. The metro will get a fully automated control system, stations will be fitted with platform screen doors, the metro cars will be equipped with surveillance cameras and train guards will be introduced at stations. Safety will improve onboard and on the rails alike. Services on the new rail section between Ruoholahti and Matinkylä will start in late 2014.
HKL, who is responsible for the automation of the metro, organizes a residents’ meeting about the auto-mation and the platform screen door trial due to begin at Vuosaari metro station. In the meeting, the res-idents can view the plans and get further information from the experts of HKL and Helsinki Region Transport (HSL).
The residents’ meeting takes place on Tuesday 16 February at 6pm-7.30pm at Tehtaanpuisto school in Vuosaari, the plans can be viewed from 5.30pm. HKL organizes the meeting in cooperation with HSL and Vuosaari residents’ association. Similar meetings will be held also in Mellunmäki and Itäkeskus in the spring and in Herttoniemi and Hakaniemi-Kallio in the autumn.
The platform screen doors are a necessary investment in safety as they prevent access to the tracks. The doors also improve comfort at the stations.
The trial use of the platform screen doors at the Vuosaari station due to begin in autumn 2010 is con-ducted in order to test the performance of the doors in a real environment, as well as in winter conditions. The groundwork begins in the spring and the doors will be constructed in the summer. After the trial phase, the doors will remain in use.
There will be platform changes due to the construction of the doors.
The metro control system needs to be renewed due to its age. The current system does not, e.g. enable extension of the metro line.
The upgrading of the control system includes conversion to driverless operation, construction of platform screen doors also at old metro stations, as well as instalment of surveillance cameras in all metro cars. In future, HKL staff will be seen more at the stations as metro drivers are trained to become train super-visors. More than anything, the upgrading of the control system is an investment in safety: the risk of human error is reduced and passenger safety improves.
From passengers’ point of view, another significant change is the speeding up of metro services for the automation enables introduction of shorter service intervals. According to current plans, in 2014 metros will run at two and half minute intervals during peak hours.