The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and Proxion have signed an agreement worth more than 2 million euros for the construction design of the Tuomarila – Kauklahti section of the Espoo city track. The railway project will increase the level of commuter train traffic and reduce traffic disruptions on the Helsinki-Turku connection. A-Insinöörit acts as Proxion’s sub-consultant in the designing of a large-scale joint project between the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Espoo and Kauniainen.
The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and Proxion signed an agreement worth approximately EUR 2.3 million for the design of a city track in the city of Espoo on Monday, February 22nd. The city track will respond 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, i.e. the one-hour train project.
– With the help of two new tracks, we will be able to separate long-distance and local traffic onto their own tracks. “In this way, we will reduce the susceptibility of rail traffic to disturbances and we can increase the interval of local traffic to resemble the subway,” says project manager Tommi Rosenvall from the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.
In a demanding joint project between the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Espoo and Kauniainen, two additional tracks will be built between Leppävaara and Kauklahti next to the existing tracks, the facility level of eight stations will be improved and access parking areas will be developed.
The project will be implemented on the 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 design solutions in addition to clear communication. The main consultant for the design project is Proxion, which is responsible for the design of the city track in the Espoo city area from the Tuomarila overpass to Kauklahti together with A-Insinöörit.
– 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 soft and vehicle traffic,” states Mikko Saarinen, Business Director of Proxion.
– The Espoo city track is a versatile design project, the success of which depends on smooth cooperation with the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and the 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 local and long-distance traffic,” Saarinen continues.
The design starts immediately with the compilation of the initial data, the modeling of the current state and the reviewing of the solutions of the previous design stage. The active design period for the city track 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 track 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 track section,” says Ilona Häkkinen, Director of the Geo- and Rock Technology Unit at A-Insinöörit.
“In order for traffic to continue uninterrupted, we focus resources on work phasing and planning work-time arrangements. The design of trenches and supports next to a working track during the work 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 believes.
The total estimated cost of the city track project is EUR 275 million. The costs are divided in half between the state and the cities (Espoo 40%, Kauniainen 10%). EU support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has been received for the planning phase. 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.