Aerial image showing the placement of the light rail in the Malmi Airport area.

New light rail planned for North-East Helsinki

The City is currently preparing a master plan for the Viikki-Malmi light rail, in which a new light rail is planned for North-East Helsinki. The Viikki-Malmi light rail will be a new public transport trunk connection from the city centre to Kumpula, Viikki, Latokartano and the Malmi Airport area, and on to Malmi or Jakomäki. The Viikki-Malmi light rail will be connected to Helsinki’s current city tram line, and it will be part of the regional light rail network. The route plan and the preliminary stop placements are displayed in the Kerrokantasi service, and they can be commented on until 14 June.

The new Viikki-Malmi light rail line will strengthen the public transport connections of the existing residential areas, serving as an important connection to the Malmi Airport area. The master plan for the Viikki-Malmi light rail examines two route alternatives at the northern end of the section, one of which would go from the Malmi Airport area to Malmi station and the other one to Jakomäki. The route alternatives are not mutually exclusive, but they are likely to be built at different times, depending on the development of land use along the light rail line.

The Viikki-Malmi light rail will be connected to Helsinki’s current city tram line and also linked to the upcoming Jokeri Light Rail and the following regional tram lines being planned: Tiederatikka (Science rail), Jokeri Light Rail 2 and the Vantaa Tram.

The advantages of the light rail include passenger comfort, accessibility, transport that is not hindered by traffic jams, and short departure intervals. The length of the Viikki-Malmi light rail line from Kumpula to the Malmi/Jakomäki final stops will be approximately 11–12 km, and the travel time from the Malmi/Jakomäki final stops to the railway station will be approximately 41–42 minutes.

New housing and jobs by the tram line

The light rail will facilitate the construction of new housing, jobs and services relying on the tram line network and along it. The area of effect of the light rail is estimated to encompass 86,000 residents in 2050, as well as 65,000 more jobs than currently.

The goal is to increase the proportion of sustainable modes of transport along the route. The light rail will make it possible to partially replace bus traffic to the city centre. The bus lines are being examined as a whole, and the goal is to avoid lowering the current service level. However, there may be changes to some connections.

Progress of the planning and participation

The planning of the Viikki-Malmi light rail is in its early stages, and the master plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The current estimate is that construction of the tram line could start in 2027, whereby it would be completed in the early 2030s.

The plans, routes and stops are displayed in the Kerrokantasi online survey (in Finnish). The survey will be open until 14 June 2020. Information on the planning of the Viikki-Malmi light rail will also be provided at the Uutta Koillis-Helsinkiä (New North-East Helsinki) event, which will be held virtually on 1 June 2020. More information about the event (in Finnish): hel.fi/suunnitelmat.

Image: Voima Graphics / City of Helsinki.