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COMMENT: From the westbound line to the airport

COMMENT: From the westbound line to the airport
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By Juha Salonen
      Expanding the subway system to include the Töölö and Santahamina districts has long been dreamed about by Helsinki’s politicians.
      The plans have been hampered by the possibility of a westbound line to Espoo, which would surpass all other lines in priority.
      Espoo may now finally be ready to make a decision in the matter.
      Hopes are up, at least unofficially. Helsinki City Transport planning chief Seppo Vepsäläinen dares to make a qualified guess: Espoo will decide on the metro already next year, maybe.
      With that timetable, the subway would reach Helsinki’s Lauttasaari district and Espoo perhaps even by 2010. Thereafter, Helsinki could concentrate all its efforts on building a new subway line.
Helsinki has not wasted time despite the slow process. Planning has been continued, as the current subway system obviously covers far too little ground. New ideas include a surface track from Pasila to the airport.
      The perpetual problem is the cost of construction. Tunnelling is reasonably priced, but stations cost a fortune.
      In addition to Kamppi, subtle preparations have been made elsewhere as well. In Kaisaniemi, a space has been excavated underneath the current station, allowing for a future expansion of the station. Two stations were originally built in Hakaniemi, with the other station still waiting for trains to roll in.
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 13.2.2005

More on this subject:
 Seed of new subway line sprouting in basement of Kamppi complex
 FACTFILE: The cheap expensive subway

Helsingin Sanomat

  15.2.2005 - THIS WEEK

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