Helsinki City Transport unveils new tram
Helsinki residents are welcome to suggest a nickname for the new conveyance
By Jarkko Hakala
Helsinki City Transport (HKL) has ordered 40 new trams for the city’s expanding tramway needs.
These will be supplied by the Finnish rolling stock manufacturer Transtech.
The tram design has reached a point when solutions can be presented to city residents, the future users of the conveyance.
A model of the tram will be on display this summer at the Cable Factory’s HI Design exhibition, as a part of the events of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.
The model has been built to the same proportions as the new tram but it is half the length of what will be going into service.
The materials and colours on display are much the same as in the new tram.
Residents are welcome to suggest a nickname for the new tram and to come and try out the seating, and to get a sense of how the tram feels.
HKL put the model on display in the Cable Factory’s Merikaapelihalli (”Sea Cable Hall”.) The company calls for feedback from residents in order that finishing touches could be put to the tram.
Many details have been worked up since the previous stage. It is the front of the tram and the grille that will give the car its appearance.
”The task will be challenging, as it must not be too sickly-sweet, but not too hostile-looking, either. Some degree of sympathy has to be maintained”, contemplates industrial designer Jussi Hurskainen from IDIS Design, the company that has been tweaking the look of the tram.
The tram line plates with yellow texts have been replaced by LED boards with white texts, in order that the texts could be more readable.
The bogie casings have been improved: they now practically cover the entire wheel cases.
The new tram design is exceptional because it is made specifically for Helsinki, taking into account the city’s unique tramway infrastructure. In addition, the design work has focused on easy low-cost maintenance.
”The tram has been acquired in order that Helsinki citizens could use it - not to keep it under repair in the hall”, said Pekka Sirviö, Chief of HKL Tram.
Thanks to some modular construction features, the new tram can be repaired and got back out on the road quickly. For example if a side window is broken, the entire exterior panel will be replaced with a new one.
There is no need for the tram to remain standing and waiting for the window adhesive to dry.
The first of the new trams will be seen in action (albeit empty) on Helsinki’s streets next year.
The trams will be introduced for passenger use from 2014.
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 7.6.2012
Previously in HS International Edition:
New tram line runs from Pasila to Kaartinkaupunki (12.8.2008)
FACTFILE: Tram traffic is more environmentally-friendly (12.8.2008)
Helsinki City Transport (HKL): New Helsinki tram on display
Helsinki Tram Network (Wikipedia)
Kaapeli (Cable Factory)
JARKKO HAKALA / Helsingin Sanomat