In Finland, the construction of a long-distance tramline “Raide-Jokeri”, which connects Helsinki and Espoo, begins. The launch of the first tram on this route will take place in June 2024.
Investments in the project “Raide-Jokeri” will amount to € 386 million, 268 million of which will allocate the budget of the Finnish capital, and 118 million – Espoo. Initially, customers laid € 275 million for the construction of the line. Later, the project went up. According to the developers, it would be possible to return to the original amount by changing the route, but in the administration of Helsinki and Espoo they do not want to do this. According to the technical head of the metropolitan administration, Harri Tansk, the high-speed tram still needs to be launched due to its importance.
Espoo is the second largest city in Finland after Helsinki (as of 2017, the population of Espoo is 276,000 people). The city is located in the south of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea, west of Helsinki, in the Uusimaa region. It is part of the so-called metropolitan region, which also includes Helsinki, Vant, and Kauniainen.
The “Raide-Jokeri” Marvelous Tram
The “Raide-Jokeri” high-speed tram line that will be built between the ITelskus and Keilaniemi districts of Helsinki and Espoo, respectively. The length of the line will be about 25 km, about 16 km of which are in Helsinki and 9 km – in Espoo. On the line, 34 pairs of stops are planned, from which walking and cycling routes will be laid. The tram service will replace the bus line 550. This is the busiest bus route in the Helsinki region and cannot cope with the growing passenger traffic.
Today, bus number 550 is used daily by 40,000 people. According to forecasts, by 2040 the passenger traffic of high-speed trams will grow to 102,000. It is also calculated that about 2 million people will live in the metropolitan region by 2050.
To run on the line will be bilateral compositions with a low floor, air conditioning, 180 seats and 76 seats for people with disabilities. The length of the cars is 34,5 meters with the possibility of extending to 44 meters, the average speed is 25 km/h and the maximum is 70 km/h.
For comparison: ordinary trams in the Finnish capital move at a speed of 15 km/h. The prototype will be released on the tram tracks of the capital for testing in 2020.